Trends in Leadership Within Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Fellowships

Joshua P. Weissman, Cody Goedderz, Muhammad Y. Mutawakkil, Peter R. Swiatek, Erik B. Gerlach, Milap S. Patel, Anish R. Kadakia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: No study in the orthopedic literature has analyzed the demographic characteristics or surgical training of foot and ankle fellowship directors (FDs). Our group sought to illustrate demographic trends among foot and ankle fellowship leaders. Methods: The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) Fellowship Directory for the 2021 to 2022 program year was queried in order to identify all foot and ankle fellowship leaders at programs currently offering positions in the United States and Canada. Data points gathered included age, sex, race/ethnicity, location of surgical training, time since training completion until FD appointment, length in FD role, and individual research H-index. Results: We identified 68 fellowship leaders, which consisted of 48 FDs and 19 co-FDs. Sixty-five individuals (95.6%) were male, and 3 (4.4%) were female. As regards race/ethnicity, 88.2% of the leadership was Caucasian (n = 60), 7.4% was Asian American (n = 5), 1.5% was Hispanic/Latino (n = 1), and 1.5% was African American (n = 1). The average age was 51.5 years, and the calculated mean Scopus H-index was 15.28. The mean duration from fellowship training to fellowship leader position was 11.23 years. Conclusion: Leaders within foot and ankle orthopedic surgery are characterized by research prowess and experience, but demographic diversity is lacking. Level of Evidence: Level III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFoot and Ankle Orthopaedics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • diversity
  • foot and ankle fellowship
  • medical education
  • orthopedic fellowship
  • orthopedic leadership
  • orthopedic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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