Join us on our Mission

SpeakUpOrtho will pave the way to a culture in orthopaedic surgery that fosters diversity and inclusivity. Our patients deserve access to care from physicians and clinicians who function in a workplace free of harassment, bullying, discrimination, and retaliation.

By partnering with our societies, hospitals, and healthcare organizations, we aim to amplify voices and stories and press for accountability. SpeakUpOrtho will blaze the path to a culture that supports the best musculoskeletal care for our society.
submit your story

We’re here to help.

Our #SpeakUpOrtho social media campaign was created to raise awareness of the prevalence of abusive behaviors in the field of orthopaedic surgery, particularly during training.

SpeakUpOrtho provides a safe environment to share your story. If you would like to submit a story, please follow the link below.
“The apparent demand was to change our culture.”
Lisa Cannada, M.D.
Co-founder, SpeakUpOrtho

A Grassroots Start

In 2016, a “Women in Orthopaedics” Facebook group was formed by Dr. Samara Friedman, with 400 initial members. With women representing only 6% of all orthopaedic surgeons, many lack female colleagues. This group served as a safe space for women to share experiences and ask clinical questions in a space free from shaming and judgment. The supportive environment blossomed, membership grew to 1,800, and people started asking hard questions.
In early 2021, stories of harassment were shared in response to a question in this Facebook group: “What is the most sexist thing ever said to you or asked of you during your interviews, residency, or fellowship?“ There were over 360 responses, some of which were horrific, and in some instances even criminal. Some commented that though the stories were from several years ago-expressing shock, this behavior persisted.

The apparent demand was to change our culture. As women with a history of leadership in orthopaedics, the founding members of SUO were tagged in the conversation, requesting answers and action. After reading the stories, the founders created SpeakUpOrtho in March 2021. The SpeakUpOrtho group started collecting stories on social media. The goal was to share the reality of events occurring in orthopaedic surgery in the present.
This culture that should have been antiquated and outgrown sadly still existed and even flourished in the orthopaedic workplace. Social media outlets allowed the anonymous sharing of real stories, and individuals quickly realized that they were and are not alone. The experienced members of the community were shocked that the challenges faced 20 and 30 years ago in training remained unchecked. The stories increased awareness of the extent of the problem in orthopaedic surgery and became an impetus for raising awareness, having difficult conversations, and driving change. 

The stories collected were and are powerful. The emotions in receiving these stories range from sadness to anger to helplessness. Yet, there was and is agreement: How can this can persist? Taking action, the SpeakUpOrtho team worked on developing relationships with other groups, creating educational materials and resources, and providing recommendations to push for change within the field of orthopaedics. SpeakUpOrtho is paving the way to create a culture of diversity and inclusivity within orthopaedic surgery.
“I thought I truly understood the complexity of bias, inequities and harassment in orthopedics and I even began to believe we had identified solutions to eliminate these long-standing challenges embedded within our specialty. #SpeakUpOrtho opened my eyes as to how much more work we have ahead of us. With an ongoing commitment to educating each other and identifying our own shortcomings with an eye toward creating corrections in a constructive way, things will get better. We are human, we can err, and we can always be better. Thank you for providing a forum where through the awareness it creates, we can now truly make a difference!”
Brian J. Cole, MD, MBA, FAANA
Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Orthopedics
Midwest Orthopaedics and Rush University Medical Center
40th President, Arthroscopy Association of North America

SpeakUpOrtho's Goals

Create a widespread culture of mutual respect within orthopaedic surgery.
Allow individuals learning, training, and working within orthopaedics to feel valued within their work environment.
Normalize a speak-up culture of zero tolerance for discrimination, harassment, and bullying in our profession.
Act as a catalyst for change within the orthopaedic community.
Establish SpeakUpOrtho as a repository for resources, support, and content that leads to industry change and supports individuals facing workplace issues.

Helpful Resources

Journal Club Kit
SpeakUpOrtho created the Journal Club Kit for orthopaedic residency programs and orthopaedic practices to conduct meetings to address harassment, bullying, and discrimination.
Free Resources
SpeakUpOrtho provides resources for the orthopaedic community, including current articles, podcasts, and FAQs, and we are always available to respond to individual questions.
Speaking Engagements
The founding members of SpeakUpOrtho are available and always honored to receive invitations to speak at Grand Rounds, diversity events, academic meetings, and as keynote speakers.
Key Publications
The co-founders of SpeakUpOrtho have contributed to numerous publications. We have compiled these publications and other compelling articles here.

Join Our Movement

Our power lies in our numbers. Become part of the chapter that changes the culture in orthopaedics to pave the way for future generations.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.