Dr. Ruth Jackson, born in 1902, was the first female spine surgeon on record. Her story of remarkable resilience and sacrifice is even more relevant given the stark gender disparities in orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery that remain today. Dr. Jackson entered the field during the Great Depression and overcame significant barriers at each step along the process. In 1937, she became the first woman to pass the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery examination and join the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons as a full member. Her work in the cervical spine led to a notable lecture record and the publication of several articles, as well as a book, The Cervical Syndrome, in which she discussed the anatomy, etiology, and treatment of cervical pathologies. Additionally, Dr. Jackson developed the Jackson CerviPillo, a neck support that is still in use today. She left a legacy that continues to resonate through the work of the Ruth Jackson Orthopedic Society, which supports women at all levels of practice and training. From the story of Dr. Jackson’s life, we can appreciate her single-minded determination that blazed a path for women in spine surgery, as well as consider the progress that remains to be made.
INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online May 13, 2022; DOI: 10.3171/2022.4.SPINE22373.
Disclosures Dr. Erickson reports receiving honoraria from DePuy Synthes. Dr. Shaffrey reports being a consultant for Medtronic, NuVasive, and SI Bone; receiving royalties from Medtronic, NuVasive, and Zimmer Biomet; being a patent holder for Medtronic, NuVasive, and Zimmer Biomet; being a stockholder for NuVasive; and being past-president of the AANS, president-elect of the Scoliosis Research Society, and a member of the board of directors of the Cervical Spine Research Society. Dr. Than reports being a consultant for Bioventus and receiving honoraria from LifeNet Health and DJO.
U.S. medical school applications and matriculants by school. State of legal residence, and sex, 2019-2020.AAMC.org. Published online November 15, 2019. Accessed October 9, 2020.https://www.aamc.org/data-reports/students-residents/interactive-data/2019-facts-applicants-and-matriculants-data)| false