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Leading the way for over 40 years

We look back at how far we have come. We have our sights set on our exciting future.

Celebrating our Past while Shaping the Future of Orthopaedic Surgery

RJOS' strong community is a foundational component, guiding everything else we do.

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RJOS is comprised of leaders, past and present, committed to our medical students, residents, and surgeons.

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Mentorship is a cornerstone of RJOS. Professional and personal guidance supports our members at every stage of their careers.

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Look to the future of orthopaedics! Support our vision of more women in orthopaedics.

Our History

A Tribute to our Founder Dr. Ruth Jackson 1903-1991

Our founder

Ruth Jackson, MD was the first practicing female orthopaedist in the U.S.  

Dr Jackson discovered the rewards of orthopaedics while working with polio patients  under the guidance of Dr. Arthur Steindler at the University of Iowa. In 1932,  she opened her office in Dallas, Texas. The following year the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) was founded. All who practiced orthopaedics were allowed to join — except Dr. Jackson. Undaunted, she took  and passed the Board Exam in 1937, becoming not only the first woman certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, but also the first woman admitted to the AAOS.

During her 57 years of active orthopaedic practice, Dr Jackson published the Cervical Syndrome based on her experience in treating over 15,000 neck injuries as well  as numerous publications in medical journals. She was chief of the non-school orthopaedic service at Parkland Hospital and established the first orthopaedic residency at the hospital. She has spoken at medical associations and societies in 39 states and several foreign countries.

Dr. Jackson said that she never meant to be famous. She just did her work and “paid attention to the little things.” The orthopaedic community mourned her passing in 1994 at the age of 91.

RJOS 1983 Founding Members

Ruth Jackson, MD, Dallas, TX
Liebe S. Diamond, MD, Baltimore, MD
Mary L. Morden, MD, Baltimore, MD
Sandra Thompson, MD, Boston, MA
Jacqueline Perry, MD, Downey, CA
Mary Ann Shannon, MD, Minneapolis, MN


RJOS welcomes members of all genders to join our growing Foundation. While we celebrate our past, we work hard for our future. Please join us!
Be a Leader.
Be a Mentor.
Be a Visionary.

RJOS Strategic Plan

Strategic Domain

Goal 1

Goal 2

Diversity and Inclusion
Promote professional development of women of all backgrounds.
Increase diversity and inclusion within the Society.
Provide resources to promote and increase diversity and inclusion in Orthopaedic surgery and in leadership roles.
Professional Development
Provide meaningful educational opportunities to enhance members’ careers.
Establish professional development and leadership curricula.
Enhance resource sharing, knowledge exchange and community strengthening.
Serve and engage members.
Build a member benefits portfolio based on member needs by career stage.
Enhance member interactions and create a strong mentoring network.
Empower members to participate in and lead research projects.
Expand the Society’s research funding and award opportunities.
Create greater awareness of research opportunities to increase participation.
Organizational Excellence
Become and maintain a healthy and viable Society.
Improve the Society’s governance and operating structure; Build a culture of transparency.
Secure the Society’s fiscal health.

Essential Components resonate throughout each strategic domain.

  • Collaboration/Partnerships
  • Communications
  • Diversity
  • Education

RJOS President Christen M. Russo, MD, Celebrates 40 Years of Promoting Women in Orthopaedics

Please note: The following article is the speech Christen M. Russo, MD, FAAOS, FAOA, president of the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society (RJOS), delivered at the RJOS Annual Meeting and 40th Anniversary Event on March 7 , 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Good evening Ruth Jackson members.

I am here today to reflect on the past 40 years, opine on the present and impress upon you the next 40 years to come.

40 years ago, at the academy meeting in 1983, a group of women got together for a luncheon – there were about 20-30 of them, and some of them are here now. Yolanda Roth & Claudia Thomas – could you please stand?

40 years ago, many of the women in this room were not born. I was just born – and so, like RJOS, I am 40.

I am 40, RJOS is 40 and I am wearing a crown. A little more on that as I go on.

First, our history:

RJOS was founded in 1983 as a support and networking group for the growing number of women orthopaedic surgeons. The women at the first meeting felt that there were many common problems confronting them, which could best be solved by pooling resources. These range from sharing technical solutions for practice problems to how to survive motherhood and orthopaedic practice or residency at the same time.

Ruth Jackson, the first board certified female orthopedic surgeon. She was told she could not join the Academy and could not take her boards. She was told NO. So what did Dr. Jackson do?
She did what I any of us would have done. She ignored the no. In fact, she deliberately did the opposite of what she was told. She smashed the patriarchy!
She took and passed her boards. She joined the Academy.
Dr. Ruth Jackson was the first – and look around – she certainly was not the last. I do not have to ask how many of have been told no and did it anyway – I know the answer. All of you.

Dr. Jackson said that she never meant to be famous. She just did her work and “paid attention to the little things.”

And now we are celebrating 40 years of an organization named for Ruth – and I feel more than honored to be up here – I feel empowered. I am a girl from a tiny Brooklyn neighborhood famous for another Ruth – Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I trekked 90 minutes to my math & science high school in Manhattan where it was normal, commonplace and expected for girls to excel in STEM. I was the first in my family to go to college and still am the only one to go to medical school. I trained at SUNY Downstate and Kings County Hospital. I had a stairwell I would retreat to – to cry – as a resident.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be standing here in front of you all now – and let me tell you –  I got here by hearing “no” a hell of a lot. And, just like Ruth, I did not take no for an answer – again and again. Tonight, I hope to empower each of you, the way Ruth Jackson has empowered me.

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our right. our committment.

Roe vs Wade

Response from the RJOS presidential line to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs Wade.

We are devastated by the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the Roe vs Wade decision that legalized abortion in our country 50 years ago. States now have the autonomy to create their own standards for abortion and access to this care.

This landmark decision will have far-reaching consequences. RJOS remains committed to supporting our female colleagues who may need these services and all our patients who need access to appropriate care. Reproductive rights are human rights! Women should have control over decisions related to their healthcare, just as men have.

Equality is a necessity in orthopaedic surgery and in our country! Although heartbroken, we must stay strong and support each other in this difficult time.

Yes, sign me up!

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