Exploring surgery, engineering: Girls get hands-on with STEM fields

Girls from local high schools converged on Baylor College of Medicine Saturday, Oct. 25 to drill, plate, rod and suture model bones and tissue.

The educational event marked the first Perry Outreach Program in Houston. The event, coordinated with support from the College and Stryker orthopedics, featured mock surgical exercises and presentations from local female surgeons.

The Perry Initiative is invested in instilling in young, talented women an interest in the fields of engineering, medicine and orthopedic surgery and offer a hands-on learning experience.

Between realistic surgery modules, suturing practice and lectures from leaders in the fields of biomedical engineering and orthopedic surgery, I believe we accomplished our goal. All the young women took this opportunity to heart and made the most of an amazing day!

I feel privileged to have been able to organize this event. Teaching and mentoring young women is a passion of mine and I’m so excited we were able to expose so many to the exciting and technical fields of orthopedics and engineering!

My involvement is dear to my heart.  I wish I had been able to meet similar strong female mentors at the same young age.  Hopefully, with yearly programs, we soon will have many more female role models in these careers for young women to look up to and identify with!

As one of a small minority of women practicing orthopedic surgery in this country, I’m excited to spread the excitement I share with a young and upcoming group of intelligent, talented and motivated young women!!  I welcome and encourage support for this wonderful group.

Learn more about the Perry Initiative.

-Catherine Palisch, assistant professor of Adult Reconstruction in the Baylor College of Medicine Department of Orthopedic Surgery

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