Article Image

AAOS 2024: Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society Celebration

Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.

AAOS 2024 will be remembered by many for the record turnout at the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society Annual Meeting. The Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society (RJOS) was established in 1983 to honor Dr. Ruth Jackson, the first female board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, a trailblazer who defied the odds to pursue her passion. RJOS President Christen Russo, MD, aimed to make her final act memorable, and indeed it was. Program Chair Elizabeth Lieberman crafted an exceptional agenda, commencing with the inaugural research day co-chaired by Drs. Deana Mercer and Anna Cohen-Rosenblum, providing a safe and inclusive platform for medical students nationwide to present their research.

Following the medical student research symposium, Drs. James Ficke and Dawn Laporte (chair and vice-chair, respectively, from Johns Hopkins Orthopedics) received the coveted "He for She" and "She for She" Awards, recognizing individuals who surpass expectations in supporting, advocating, and promoting women in orthopaedic surgery. The 2024 Courage Award was posthumously bestowed upon Dr. Jessica Block, a resident in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Buffalo. Dr. Block's mother accepted the award on her behalf, marking a profoundly bittersweet moment, infused with humor, tragedy, and respect. The Courage Award was renamed the Jessica Block Courage Award henceforth.

Subsequently, special guest speaker Katie Holloway Bridge shared her inspirational journey as a two-time Paralympic gold medalist. Her message of perseverance resonated with everyone present. Finally, a panel comprising RJOS members Drs. Gary Friedlaender, Tessa Balach, Charles Nelson, Kenneth Gundle, and Lorraine Boakye, and industry partners Edmund Davis from Zimmer Biomet and Amy Turk from DePuy Synthes explored the challenges and opportunities of diversity, equity, and inclusion for women and underrepresented minorities in medicine.

Ruth Jackson passed away in 1994 at the age of 92, yet her legacy lives on through all orthopaedic surgeons who continue to support women entering a field that sought to exclude her in 1933. From RJOS's humble inception with five women gathered around a table in 1983 to a venue brimming with women medical students, residents, fellows, and attending orthopaedic surgeons in 2024, the transformation is remarkable. One can only imagine that Dr. Ruth Jackson would be pleasantly surprised and proud of her enduring legacy 41 years after that initial informal gathering.

Dr. Levine enjoys taking care of patients from all over the country and world with straightforward and often challenging problems involving shoulder, elbow, and sports medicine conditions. As Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYP/Columbia University Medical Center, he is committed to providing the highest standard of care for patients with musculoskeletal problems and is proud to have assembled a faculty who are recognized leaders in every subspecialty.

Image by gmast3r / GettyImages

All opinions published on Op-Med are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of Doximity or its editors. Op-Med is a safe space for free expression and diverse perspectives. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email

More from Op-Med