I am the only active staff female orthopaedic surgeon at Scarborough Health Network and am proud to represent women in orthopaedic surgery. Across North America, only 6% of all orthopaedic surgeons are women, and among those women, even fewer are hip and knee surgeons like myself. It has taken a lot of grit and determination to get here. I am honoured to be part of a highly skilled and caring team in Scarborough that promotes diversity within our surgical specialties. Scarborough Grit means striving for excellence and greatness despite adversity or challenges. 

I grew up spending time at SHN’s Birchmount Hospital because my mother, Dr. Christine Young, was a trailblazing Scarborough orthopaedic surgeon. I have fond memories as a child making rounds at “the Grace” campus with my mother while she was looking after patients. I spent time at the nursing station asking questions and even helped the nurses occasionally. I was not only proud of what my mother did, but also proud of where she worked. I sensed a happy comradery among the staff at the hospital while they cared for patients. Community is important not only to our patients, but also to the staff who are a team. Another aspect of Scarborough Grit is supporting your colleague, your co-worker, and your neighbour. 

Many Scarborough patients come in with their whole families. I am lucky to treat their grandmother, their mother, their husband, and their son. I feel like I’m a part of their family, and that’s very rewarding to me. By getting to know a patient and their family members, this instills a greater level of mutual trust. I am privileged that patients trust me and my team, but I also know that people from Scarbrough work hard to be part of their own recovery. Scarborough Grit is in all of us working together even in the face of an orthopaedic condition or other challenges. 

By investing in healthcare in Scarborough, you’re investing in the future of Toronto. The people of Scarborough are some of the hardest workers of our city. Your donations will drive us forward, making SHN a premier destination for excellence in care while improving the health of the entire City of Toronto. 

I think women in male-dominated fields still feel today some different work-life balance pressures.  There are unique circumstances as a woman and mother where you’re balancing some of your child’s demands with the job and, not to discredit the role of fathers, but there are unique demands on mothers with pregnancy, breastfeeding, and comforting your kids. There’s a whole mental load aspect of running a household, which I feel lucky to have support in doing. My own mother went through that too. I saw her go through the ups and downs, and she has been such a support to me in the same way.   

I’m lucky that my husband is very supportive and a wonderful partner in running our life. We also have both our families in the Toronto area to help as grandparents. But it’s important to talk about work-life balance with your friends and colleagues. I think that’s the strength we have at SHN, especially in the orthopaedics division – many of us are parents and we’re comfortable discussing not only patient cases, but also discussing things like “my kid won’t go to sleep”.  It also validates that this job, while it’s really rewarding and exciting, and provides such a wonderful purpose, it’s also difficult at times. 

I think it’s really rewarding and fun to fix orthopaedic problems, and as a woman and a young mother you can provide a unique and really valuable perspective. There’s an element of comforting patients that I think women are naturally attuned to doing. I think we are skilled at listening, and really honing down into patient concerns. Diversity in medicine and surgical specialties adds to the excellence in care we can provide by better patient understanding and compassion. 

Dr. Scott is one of our 11 new faces of the Scarborough Sans Family. To learn more about our campaign please visit LoveScarborough.ca