Dr. Kate McCarthy is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spine surgery, and she wants more girls to be like her, so she’s prepared to help them bone up on biology, then drill ’em.
McCarthy — when she’s not at Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics or being a mom — is a mentor for the Perry Initiative, a national organization that helps young women interested in engineering and orthopedics. These are fields overwhelmingly populated by men.
The organization holds its annual outreach program for Little Rock area high school students interested in exploring orthopedics or engineering careers Dec. 5 at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. It will feature six hands-on “mock surgical” exercises and participants will hear lectures from local female surgeons and engineers.
McCarthy’s belief in the importance of “a community of women” helps her prioritize and budget her time and involvement in community service.
“I want young women to see the potential in a field that is greater than 87 percent male-populated,” she says. “Only 7 percent of practicing orthopedic surgeons are women.”