Do Surgeons Have Lives?

the surgeon's path Feb 11, 2020

“Surgeons don’t have lives.”

It’s not true, or at least, it doesn’t have to be. I live a full one, though it’s not without a conscious effort to do so. It’s not to say we don’t make sacrifices to be able to practice this craft - we do, and it is indeed a privilege.
I write about how surgeons balance their work with family as a guest writer on Take a look at the article here
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Leading in Ortho

the surgeon's path Sep 16, 2019

I’m honored to have Dr. Jennifer Weiss, orthopaedic surgeon as my guest blogger today. Her list of accolades is long, and I am pleased to call her a colleague and a friend. Below, Dr. Weiss discusses her role in leadership in our field.

Less than 1 in 10 practicing orthopaedic surgeons are women. In my group of partners in Los Angeles, out of 15 orthopaedists, I am the only woman.  From 2013-2015, I served as Junior Member at Large on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS.)  At that time I spent the first year as the only woman on that board, until Dr. Lisa Cannada joined in 2014.  In 2018, I was appointed Chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet.  Although this is not a position that is on the Board of Directors, I spent last year attending many of the board meetings as the leader of my cabinet.  The shift in the representation of women in the boardroom was tremendous.  I work(ed) alongside Amy Ladd,...
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Guilt as a Surgeon Mom

the surgeon's path Aug 29, 2019

He came out on time but scrawny, like a baby spider monkey. Even though it was 38.5 weeks and I was term, when my son was born, he looked nothing like the cherubic babies on the diaper boxes. He was only 5 pounds, 10 ounces and off-the-charts small.  Fortunately, other than being tiny, he was very healthy, and eventually caught up in height and weight. 


“What did I do wrong?” was my first thought as I laid eyes on him. Immediately, mom guilt set in. Did I work too much? Should I have taken fewer call shifts? Did my efforts to shield him from radiation in the OR with double the lead aprons do damage - squashing him down to this size in the process? Did I not eat enough meat? Should I have gained more weight? Less weight? In the moment, the scientist in me was supplanted by an emotional new mom’s worries of what she did wrong. 


That one moment whisked away how good I felt most of the whole 38.5 weeks of pregnancy. Other than some minor...

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Path to Orthopaedics

the surgeon's path Jun 03, 2019

As a female orthopaedic surgeon, I am often asked how I ended up in this field. Although seeing women in orthopaedic surgery is becoming more common, we are still make up only 6% of the orthopaedic surgeons in the U.S.

I actually had no idea what orthopedic surgery was before medical school. In fact, I started medical school thinking I would be an internist, but it really didn't take me very long to realize how wrong I was. It became progressively clear as we approached clinical rotations as third year medical students who the “surgical: and “non-surgical” types were, with me clearly falling in the former.

Between the first and second years of medical school, a family friend offered me the opportunity to shadow in his total joint replacement practice. Rather than just spend a day or two with him, I spent a few weeks. During that time, I had the opportunity to see many facets of what it means to be an orthopaedic surgeon. I spent time in the operating room,...

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Dr. Mommy - How Do I Balance Being a Mom and an Orthopaedic Surgeon

the surgeon's path May 30, 2019

No one ever said parenthood was easy! Now combine that with a career as an orthopaedic surgeon and there are sure to be some challenges. Fortunately, it IS possible! I receive many questions from hopeful future surgeons about parenthood and a career in surgery. Here, I talk about my own experience. 

Thanks for watching, and make sure you head over to my YouTube channel and subscribe to be kept up to date on all my video content!

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the surgeon's path May 20, 2019


I’m an orthopaedic surgeon...but if you told me I’d be here when I graduated from college, I’d be laughing at you!  When I got started in college, I thought I was going to be a premed and apply to medical school. It was not a well-thought-out decision. I thought that this was what good Chinese-American children do...grow up to become doctors. It became clear that this goal was parent-driven and not my own.

At UCLA as a new freshman, I walked into my very first class, Bio 101, or whatever it was called back then. Although I came from a medium-sized high school, it sure was shocking to walk into a class of 600 other students, all vying for the premed track. Although I enjoyed biology, I very quickly got weeded out of this class.  Indeed, these were called the “weeder” classes for a reason. Now, here I am, freshman in college with what I thought was going to be a well-defined plan, without direction.

So I decided to take classes that just...

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My Personal Path to Orthopaedic Surgery

the surgeon's path May 16, 2019

Have you ever wondered how one goes about choosing their specialty after medical school? I talk here about how I discovered this specialty, and my own path to orthopaedic surgery and discovering my inner renaissance woman!

Thanks for watching, and make sure you head over to my YouTube channel and subscribe to be kept up to date on all my video content!

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The Non-Traditional Path...Any Regrets?

the surgeon's path Apr 25, 2019

I took a non-traditional path to medicine, taking a few years off after my undergraduate degree at UCLA. I'm often asked - any regrets? Here in this video I talk about what I would do different, if I could go back in time. 

Thanks for watching, and make sure you head over to my YouTube channel and subscribe to be kept up to date on all my video content!

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An Orthopaedic Surgeon's Typical Week

the surgeon's path Apr 11, 2019

Have you ever been curious what a private practice orthopaedic surgeon's week is? I am in a small private group of three surgeons, and we each offer our own niches, mine being sports and arthroscopy (I like to think of myself as a shoulder geek, in particular!). Here's a short video on my average week. 

Thanks for watching, and make sure you head over to my YouTube channel and subscribe to be kept up to date on all my video content!

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What is a Ladypod?

the surgeon's path Mar 28, 2019

Women are underrepresented in the field of orthopaedic surgery - with recent statistics putting women at about 6% of all orthopaedic surgeons in the U.S. As a result, it can be difficult for aspiring surgeons to identify and connect with others who look like them. 

The term "ladypod" was coined to describe a lady or female orthopedic surgeon (aka orthopod), and four such women got together at a recent national meeting to sit down and talk about the experience of being a woman in orthopaedic surgery. Certainly there are challenges, but this video shows how we have addressed those challenges, being productive orthopaedic surgeons while balancing family and personal life. 

Take a look at the video below to see how Drs. Nancy Yen Shipley, Karen Sutton, Pamela Mehta and Jennifer Weiss represent different subspecialties in orthopaedic surgery, and inspire future doctors with their unique experiences in medicine.



You can find these ladypods online here:


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