Interview with Margot Hamm - OTC France

The domain of osteosynthesis and trauma surgery is still largely dominated by men. Also in the OTC Foundation, women are rather underrepresented. For this reason, we decided to show who the women behind OTC are and what they do for the foundation. The first woman we interviewed is Margot Hamm from OTC France and AIOD Strasbourg.

How long have you been a member of the OTC Foundation (your chapter) or involved in the OTC Foundation?

Margot Hamm: I started to work for AIOD (International Association for Dynamic Osteosynthesis), which is the mother chapter of the AIOD chapters around the world, in 1990. The AIOD was founded by Prof. Ivan Kempf, Dr. Arsène Grosse and Dr. Gilbert Taglang in 1986 in Strasbourg. I followed actively all changes and evolutions during the years until the creation of the OTC Foundation in 2007.


What is your function within the OTC Foundation?

Currently, I am the executive assistant for two chapters: AIOD Strasbourg and OTC France, both located in Strasbourg. Additionally, I am member of the OTC Foundation’s task force education.


What led you to get involved with the OTC Foundation? What motivation do you have to work for the Foundation?

I love the medical field even though it was not really my destiny in the beginning of my professional career. I am proud to be somehow involved to help to improve patient’s care around the world.


Where do you see the general benefit of the OTC Foundation?

I think the exchange and sharing of knowledge, experiences and education is a great step to advance together internationally.


How can you personally benefit from your commitment or activities at the OTC Foundation?

My satisfaction is to see the smile on the participant’s faces who are thankful for the organisation, and therefore our work, at the end of our courses. More importantly, when they are thankful for everything they learned during the courses: all this new information with sometimes small tricks and pitfalls that could facilitate their daily work in the operating room. For me, the positive and encouraging feedback is like a dose of vitamin D!


In which areas do you see potential for the OTC Foundation to improve?

We live in a world with so many human, cultural and linguistic differences.  Personally, I think it would be great to better support the smallest countries, which do not always have the necessary resources: To bring education to them (teach them on the latest evolutions/developments) and to enable these countries to organize their own courses and trainings on site.
In a different aspect, I think the OTC Foundation should increase humanitarian actions.


The number of women in medicine is continually growing. In many countries women already outnumber men in medical schools. Why do you think they are still underrepresented in the OTC Foundation?

In fact, I could observe that there are still some countries where women are underrepresented, which is probably primarily due to cultural reasons. But luckily, I could also observe that we have more and more women participating in our courses since a few years, for instance in Greece, Spain, Belgium and a few other countries. Secondly, the OTC Foundation is dealing essentially with the orthopaedic and traumatology field, which is a speciality that was performed only by men for many years. It requires strength during the surgeries, for instance in the treatment of femur fractures. However, the mentalities evolved, and now the younger generation is more open minded, and more and more women join the speciality. I am deeply convinced that the situation will continue to progress in this way, even though it is true that gender ratio is a hot topic that could be discussed for hours.


What has been your personal highlight since getting involved with the OTC Foundation?

I do not really have one special highlight to point out. During all these years, I made many wonderful memories, also some funny stories, and I collected enough anecdotes to write a book… maybe one day when I get retired. I am thankful to be part of the OTC Foundation, thankful for its trust in me and to have the chance to meet wonderful persons coming from all horizons, great figures in the orthopaedic and traumatology field, nice persons from the industrial side and to collaborate hand in hand with them. The OTC Foundation is a little bit like my second home!


What highlights do you expect to come within the next years?

I would love to see the Foundation growing and getting the N° 1 Foundation in the orthopaedic and traumatology area. Meanwhile, I like to be a part of this process!


You have been the first woman we interviewed in this series. Who do you suggest us to interview next?

I suggest Dr. Christina Arnaoutoglou. She is the new OTC Hellas president and therefore the first female president within the foundation!