Miss (Dr.) Samantha Tross is a consultant orthopaedic hip and knee surgeon, and she was the first black female orthopaedic surgeon in the UK. She is Associate Professor of Orthopaedics at the American University of the Caribbean, a role she has held since 2010, and is Associate Editor of the Journal of Medical Case Reports. She’s a member of the Board of Trustees of the British Association of Black surgeons, and the Secretary of the International Othopaedic Diversity Alliance, which was set up to increase diversity within orthopaedics. She’s been a member of the Black Power List 100 since 2010.
Our sweeping conversation starts in the Caribbean, and her upbringing in Guyana, and the early seeds that were sown for her to become a surgeon. We follow her educational path through boarding school and medical school in the UK and discuss the diversity within her medical school class, which was very minimal. We trace then her path to become a surgeon and why she enjoys the field of orthopedics. We discuss how patients in this area are generally well other than the reason for the operation, the ready availability of feedback on the operation and the ability for these interventions to have massive impacts on the patients’ quality of life.
We move then to issues of diversity and first Miss Tross’s own experience throughout her training. We discuss how the issue of race is perhaps one of the last issues to be addressed within medicine in terms of taking steps towards better inclusion, and also address team dynamics and how to handle bullying within workplace settings.
Finally we look at the importance of self-belief, having a plan and remaining true to oneself and one’s ambitions. This is an empowering discussion that hopefully will pave the way for many more such discussions.
There is more information about BABS, the British Association of Black Surgeons here: https://babs-uk.org
The British Hip Society website is here: https://britishhipsociety.com
There is more information about the International Orthopaedic Diversity Alliance here: https://www.orthopaedicdiversity.org