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The Perry Initiative 2022

The Perry Initiative 2022

Shriners Children's Northern California hosts a Perry Outreach Program every year, offering a one-day, hands-on career exploration for young women in high school who are interested in careers in orthopedic surgery, engineering or both.
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Opening screen: Shriners Children's Northern California logo

Bottom third text layover: Michelle James, M.D., Chief of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery

Michelle James, M.D.:

The Perry Initiative is a program designed by women orthopedic surgeons and engineers to introduce our specialties to girls in high school with hands-on activities that replicate a lot of the things we get to do each day. Our mission at Shriners Children's is three-pronged: clinical care, research, and teaching. And this really gets at the teaching component. Around 7% of board certified orthopedic surgeons are women. There's some evidence that women who get interested at a younger age in these fields are more likely to enter them. They learn the hands-on nature of engineering and orthopedics, and they get to connect the intellectual aspects of medicine, like problem-solving, with the actual actions that we take to solve problems.

In order for the girls to attend, there is no charge. The Shriners has sponsored this program for many years. We were one of the first hospitals to do that. I have in-depth feedback from one of our very first students who I'm still in touch with, who went on to go to medical school and is graduating soon and just matched for her top choice residency. So I've been able to follow her since high school, and she attributes the Perry Initiative with first letting her know that this was a possibility for her.

End screen: Shriners Children's Northern California logo