Orthopedics

Letter to the Editor Free

Female Pioneers in Orthopedic Surgery

Claudette M. Lajam, MD; Lauren Santiesteban, MD; Jessica Hooper, MD

Abstract

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Abstract

Click here to read the article.

To the Editor:

We applaud the recent article by Savvidou et al1 about pioneer female orthopedic surgeons, which discusses the careers and impact of Drs Forrester-Brown, Daniilidou, Jackson, Figgins, and Burger. The article also highlights US surgeons Drs O'Connor and Weber.

We want to bring to your attention another important woman in orthopedics. Dr Marian Frauenthal Sloane (1933) was the first Jewish female orthopedic surgeon in the United States and also the first American woman to publish in a peer-reviewed orthopedic journal.2–4 Dr Frauenthal Sloane graduated from Smith College in 1926 and Bellevue-NYU Medical School in 1930, being 1 of only 4 women in her graduating class. She completed her residency at Bellevue-NYU in 1933 and did a traveling fellowship in Europe from 1933 to 1934. She married Dr David Sloane, her co-resident, and they had 2 children. Dr Frauenthal Sloane returned to her practice after the birth of each of her daughters. When asked if his aunt had doubts about success in her career, her nephew remarked, “It never occurred to her that she couldn't do it, so she did” (James Frauenthal, personal communication, July 2018).

Dr Frauenthal Sloane died of breast cancer in 1940, at the age of 36. We do not know what impact she would have had if her career had not been cut short. Fortunately, her legacy lives on in the form of the Marian Frauenthal Sloane Clinical Research Award, given annually at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital (formerly the Hospital for Joint Diseases), and the new RJOS-NYULOH Marian Frauenthal Sloane Scholarship. Dr Frauenthal Sloane's “can-do” attitude and ability to balance career, family, and academics live on through those who remember her contributions to orthopedic surgery.

Claudette M. Lajam, MD
Lauren Santiesteban, MD
NYU Langone Health
New York, New York

Jessica Hooper, MD
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stanford, California

References

  1. Savvidou OD, Zampeli F, Antoniadou T, Van Beeck A, Papagelopoulos PJ. Pioneer female orthopedic surgeons as role models. Orthopedics. 2020;43(1):e8–e14. doi:10.3928/01477447-20191031-04 [CrossRef]
  2. Pomeranz MM, Frauenthal Sloane M. Slipping of the proximal femoral epiphysis: therapeutic results in one hundred and one cases. Arch Surg. 1935:30(4):607–624. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1935.01180100053005 [CrossRef]
  3. Sloane D, Frauenthal Sloane M. Acute Neissarian intrapelvic protrusion of the acetabulum (Otto pelvis). J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1937;19:843–846.
  4. Sloane D, Frauenthal Sloane M, Gold AM. Dyschondroplastic bow legs. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1936;18(1):183–187.

Reply

We thank Dr Lajam and colleagues for their important comments regarding our article on pioneer female orthopedic surgeons.1 In the 1930s, Drs Marian Frauenthal Sloane and Ruth Jackson were likely the only two women practicing orthopedic surgery in the United States. Dr Frauenthal Sloane was the first woman licensed to practice orthopedic surgery in New York, and Dr Jackson was the first woman licensed to do so in Iowa. Dr Frauenthal Sloane completed her residency at the Hospital for Joint Diseases and served as an attending orthopedic surgeon there.2 She was involved in the American Medical Association. She received the Henry W. Frauenthal Traveling Scholarship, studying in Europe from 1933 to 1934. Between 1935 and 1937, Dr Frauenthal Sloane coauthored 3 studies that were published in the Archives of Surgery and The American Journal of Surgery and 2 peer-reviewed articles, both of which were published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. These 5 articles earned Dr Frauenthal Sloane the distinction of being the first US female orthopedic surgeon to publish an academic article.3

Olga D. Savvidou, MD
Panayiotis J. Papagelopoulos, MD, DSc, FACS
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Athens, Greece

References

  1. Savvidou OD, Zampeli F, Antoniadou T, Van Beeck A, Papagelopoulos PJ. Pioneer female orthopedic surgeons as role models. Orthopedics. 2020;43(1):e8–e14. doi:10.3928/01477447-20191031-04 [CrossRef]
  2. McDowell B, Green WS, Zuckerman JD. Hospital for Joint Diseases, 1905–2005: one hundred years of excellence. New York, NY: Hospital for Joint Diseases; 2005.
  3. Hooper JM, Santiesteban L, Levin A, Lajam CM. What's important: women trailblazers in orthopaedics. Marian Frauenthal Sloane, MD—ahead of her time. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2019;101(11):1037–1038. doi:10.2106/JBJS.19.00255 [CrossRef]
Authors

The authors have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

10.3928/01477447-20200217-01

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