Interview with Lee Ann Finno - FOT North America

For the third interview of our OTCF women series, we spoke with Lee Ann Finno. She hopes that more female orthopedic surgeons will want to become part of the orthopedic trauma community. This would be a great asset to the specialty. 

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

Lee Ann Finno: I have been involved in the OTC Foundation through the Foundation for Orthopedic Trauma (FOT) chapter, which incorporated in December, 2004.


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

I became involved in the Foundation, as Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser who I work with at Columbia University was the FOT’s first President. Since that time, FOT Presidents, Dr. Christopher Born, Dr. David Lowenberg, Dr. Daniel Horwitz, and Dr. Douglas Dirschl have kept me on in this role.  Their leadership, the support of our amazing member volunteers, and the evolvement of what the FOT has become in the last 14½ years are what keep me motivated.


What is your function within the OTC Foundation?

I am the administrator of the FOT. This directly links me to our parent organization, the OTCF.


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

The general benefit of an organization such as OTCF is the collaboration between orthopedic trauma clinicians and educators from around the world.


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

When OTCF was formed, there was a program where visiting orthopedic surgeons in training could visit orthopedic trauma surgeons from around the world (centers of excellence) who are part of OTCF. I would like to see this program reignited. The FOT chapter is all about bringing the young orthopedic trauma surgeon into the organization early on as a place to learn how to build their practices and expertise. The comradery between the new and seasoned orthopedic trauma surgeon through our meetings and events is something FOT sees as unique and invaluable.


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?

I believe that the number of women in medicine is growing but maybe not as much for women in orthopedic trauma. Perhaps there is a preconception when it comes to the field of orthopedic trauma that it is difficult to balance life outside of such a demanding subspecialty. The women I know who are involved in orthopedic trauma are able to strike that balance. I hope that more female orthopedic surgeons in training will want to become part of the orthopedic trauma community. We all know what an asset that would be to our gender and to the specialty.


What can the OTC Foundation do for more gender equality in the medical sector?

Continue to offer educational opportunities. Market the chapter’s educational offerings. Invite female orthopedic trauma surgeons to give lectures on the specialty but also lectures based on how they balance their lives and successes as orthopedic trauma surgeons. These lectures should be placed on OTC website for viewing.


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

It is such a joy to me when I attend national meetings and know so many people with whom I have built wonderful working relationships and friendships. It makes me feel proud to be a part of such a special group of individuals. The orthopedic trauma surgeon always takes the time to say hello and volunteer their time.


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

I look forward to new initiatives being planned by our local chapter and the continued collaboration with OTCF and its chapters.


Who do you suggest us to interview next?

I would suggest interviewing Dr. Julie Keller. Dr. Keller is an FOT member and an orthopedic trauma surgeon based in New Jersey. Dr. Keller is the whole package in that she has built a highly regarded practice and juggles her busy schedule and personal life with eloquence and grace.


Lee Ann Finno
Administrator, Foundation for Orthopedic Trauma
Pearl River, NY 10965