Start tipping the balance with Women in Spine

You are invited! Get a first taste at the GSC 2022 symposia in Las Vegas.
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 is organizing the third Women in Spine Breakfast Symposium at the Global Spine Congress in Las Vegas. In addition, the Task Force is producing a Scientific Symposium on Catastrophic Implant Failure.

Some of the most powerful AO Spine members are volunteering their efforts to address the gender imbalance of surgeons working in spine. We will continue the tradition of the hugely successful diversity events at the GSC 2021 in Paris, France, and in 2019 in Toronto, Canada:

Women in Spine Breakfast Symposium

Friday, June 3, at 07:00–08:00 AM, moderated by Elizabeth Lord

  • Rushama Tandon: Networking to move forward and stay relevant
  • Michelle Clarke: How you deal with failure determines how you achieve success
  • Cordula Netzer: Is our identity shaped by how others view us?
  • Yu-Mi Ryang: Female surgeons and diversity—An overview of other organizations; where do we stand today?
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.


Scientific Symposium by Women in Spine 

Catastrophic Implant Failure: Prevention and Management

Friday, June 3, at 14:00-15:00, moderated by Michelle Clarke and Rushama Tandon

  • Matthew Goodwin: Biomechanics of spine implants
  • Shania Lipa: Bone density, osteoporosis, and implant selection
  • Cordula Netzer  : Pseudarthrosis, infection, and failure
  • Deeptee Jain: Failure of motion preservation implants
  • Elizabeth Lord: Salvage and revision strategies

The GSC Program with all the latest details is available here.

Other 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.

Charest-Morin's article on Frailty and Sarcopenia is available on the AO Spine Guest Blog.

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

  • Women


  • Men


AO Spine course participants

  • Women


  • Men

    93 %

AO Spine members

  • Women


  • Men


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