Voices for change: Celebrating diversity within the AO

Claudia Medina: My AO journey

I began my orthopedic residency at the Hospital Militar Central in Bogotá, Colombia, at a time when this specialty was considered exclusively for men and everyone was asking me, “Are you crazy?”

I have been a specialist for more than 15 years and all my days are worthwhile and have taught me.

By being involved in academic activity with AO Trauma for several years, I decided to do a master’s degree in education to enhance my capacities. Teaching others has given me a lot of satisfaction, opened my mind, and allowed me to meet people from all over the world. I am sure that just as I have learned many things about orthopedics, I have also learned from and about life.

I work in the trauma team of the IPS Universitaria - Clinica León XIII in Medellín, Colombia.

Currently I’m the chairperson of AO Trauma Colombia; I am the first female to hold this position in any country (at the same time with Paula Sotelo from Chile). Also, since a few months ago, I have been an associate editor of the Patient Safety in Surgery journal. I am also a member of the AO Access mentorship task force. With the mentorship task force, we are looking at providing effective mentoring tools to enable a mentee to progress along their chosen career path. With the representation of underrepresented groups improving, and more visible role models for others to follow, so too will the diversity of an organization improve and its culture change.

My heart is filled with pride to see more and more women in orthopedics: to see them graduate, grow, and succeed, and to be able to contribute to their training.

We, as women, have changed history by breaking paradigms showing that it is not a question of gender or race. We have the necessary skills and abilities to carry out any job.