Women in Spine gather at the GSC

Committed to diversity and inclusion

06 October 2021

Women in spine surgery

The AO Spine Women in Spine initiative aims to provide female surgeons with a strong and diverse range of mentors, greater leadership opportunities, and role models. To make a difference, AO Spine organized the first Women in Spine breakfast event at the Global Spine Congress in 2019. Some of the most powerful AO Spine members are again volunteering their efforts to address the gender imbalance of surgeons working in spine. A hugely successful breakfast event and a scientific symposium will take place at the GSC 2021 in Paris in November.

The Women in Spine Breakfast symposium on Friday November 5, at 07:00–08:00 AM will be moderated by AO Spine Chairperson Asdrubal Falavigna and the AO Spine Community Development Chairperson Norman Chutkan. Rushama Tandon will introduce the initiative, followed by talks from Serena Hu on leadership, and Yu Mi Ryang on things she wished she knew when she was younger.

The session will be livestreamed on the GSC virtual platform, and it will be available live for online attendees. Participation from the audience and the lively discussion is expected to continue throughout the congress and continue at the AO Spine booth.

The scientific symposium on Saturday, November 6, at 11:30-12:30 will focus on the role of gender considerations in spine surgery. The GSC Final Program with all the latest details is available here.

Highlights from the AO Spine community

Stronger together

Raphaële Charest-Morin sees the AO Spine Knowledge Forums as a real strength for clinicians and researchers.

The rising spinal oncology star and AO Spine Knowledge Forum Tumor associate member shared details of her work and how researchers can leverage the AO Spine KF network. Read more here.

Voices for change: celebrating diversity within the AO

AO embraces differences and celebrates diversity. Sharing experiences and advice from one peer to another delivers unique and powerful messages.

Waeel Hamouda: my AO journey

Become an advocate for change by sharing your story. More details here.

Women in Spine in the news

Diversity is always an advantage

Interview with AO Spine Community Development Commission member Rushama Tandon. Read more

AO Spine International Women's Day

Global Spine Congress. Watch the video

It’s time to shine a light

With female surgeons making up as little as 5 percent of our membership, the gender gap is a real and pressing issue. Read more

Facts and figures

All surgeons

AO Spine course participants

AO Spine members

The Women in Spine task force

Rushama Tandon (Chairperson)
Additional Chief Health Director
Head, Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation
Northern Railway Central Hospital, New Delhi, India

Christina Goldstein
Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon, Associate Professor
University of Colorado
Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Serena Hu
Professor and Vice Chair
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Stanford University Medical Center
Stanford, CA, USA

Yu-Mi Ryang
Head of Department, Neurosurgery and Spine Therapy
HELIOS Klinikum Berlin-Buch
Berlin, Germany

Elizabeth Lord
Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon, Assistant Clinical Professor
UCLA Medical Center
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Tatjana Topalovic
Manager AO Access


AO Access—diversity, inclusion, and mentorship at the heart of the AO community

The AO is committed to cultivating diverse leaders who are passionate about advancing its mission and enhancing its position as a world leader in education, research, innovation, and clinical practice. Read more

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