The American Orthopaedic Association is committed to expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion within orthopaedic surgery. This includes programming and thought-leadership efforts, creating resources, identifying opportunities to collaborate with other orthopaedic organizations, such as the Perry Initiative, and internal efforts to include diverse perspectives represented in all AOA activities and initiatives.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

The AOA convenes leaders around critical issues within orthopaedics each year at its Annual Meeting, CORD Conferences, and other virtual programming. Each year, AOA leadership dedicates time at the podium for its members to discuss expanding diversity.


2023 Annual Leadership Meetings

  • Providing Equitable Care
  • Building Bridges Not Walls: On the path to equality through equity

2022 Annual Leadership Meetings

  • Gender Justice in Academic Medicine: What It Might Look Like in Orthopaedic Surgery

2021 Annual Leadership Meetings

  • A Departmental Approach to Addressing Racism
  • Diversity & Inclusion in Orthopaedic Surgery from Medical School to Practice

2020 Annual Leadership Meetings

  • Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Women & Minorities

2019 Annual Leadership Meetings

  • Expanding Diversity Need, Not Compromise Quality
  • Roadmap to Being an Inclusive and Equitable Leader

2018 Annual Leadership Meetings

  • Healthcare Disparities and the Effect on Musculoskeletal Disease
  • Why isn’t the orthopaedic workforce as diverse as the population it serves? Where are the minorities and women?

Virtual CORD Town Halls

  • Biases Faced by Women in Orthopaedics: Changing the Narrative
  • Fostering a JEDI Residency Program & Other academic Programming

AMA STEPS Forward Webinars

The new AMA STEPS Forward™ toolkit “Racial and Health Equity: Concrete STEPS for Health Systems,” developed in collaboration with HealthBegins, offers five steps to advancing health equity for clinicians, patients, and the communities served. The toolkit helps motivated leaders develop a shared understanding and commitment, set data-driven goals, and embark on a journey of continuous learning and improvement for racial justice and health equity. Join co-authors Denard Cummings, AMA Director of Equitable Health Systems Integration, and Rishi Manchanda, MD, MPH, President and CEO of HealthBegins, at noon CST on March 24 as they provide actionable steps for advancing racial and health equity in your health care system.

Register for the webinar.

The AOA’s Diversity Taskforce hosts a virtual DEI Think Tank on November 1, 2021 for health care leaders charged with stewarding diversity initiatives within their institutions or practices.

Think Tank Goals:

  • Forge Connections: Connect diversity chairs, committee members, and liaisons from across the country
  • Assess: How can the American Orthopaedic Association support the efforts of diversity leaders within their department, medical school, institution, or practice?
  • Resource Creation: Define gaps, build solutions, identify what resources the AOA might develop for individuals serving in these important roles.

Learn more here.

The AOA thanks DePuy Synthes and Medtronic for their financial support of the 2021 DEI Think Tank.

The AOA’s monthly podcast, Lessons in Orthopaedic Leadership, provides insights on topics critical to orthopaedic leaders.

In this two-part episode, Gabriella Ode, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in knee, shoulder, and elbow surgery at Prisma Health, joins the AOA Podcast for a frank conversation on diversity. These episodes have received almost 500 downloads since their air date in 2020.


  • The impact of early exposure to orthopaedics on underrepresented populations in orthopaedics
  • Roles of mentors and advocates
  • Fighting back about the misconceptions about diversity
  • Moving beyond tokenism
  • Diversity and recruitment
  • AOA’s initiatives to bring issues to a national level
  • COVID-19’s impact on recruitment and how that impacts diversity in residency programs
  • Dr. Ode shares her advice to her younger self and gives her thoughts on how others can help create change

AOA Diversity Taskforce


  • Gabriella E. Ode, MD, Diversity Liaison 2021-2022
  • Addisu Mesfin, MD, FAOA, Diversity Liaison 2021-2022
  • Gregory J. Della Rocca, MD, PhD, FAOA
  • Keith Kenter, MD, PhD, FAOA
  • Dawn LaPorte, MD, FAOA
  • Lisa Lattanza, MD, FAOA
  • Charles L. Nelson, MD, FAOA
  • Lisa Taitsman, MD, FAOA
  • Erica Taylor, MD, MBA, FAOA