LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jennifer J. Beck, M.D., associate director of the Center for Sports Medicine at Orthopaedic Institute for Children, told the graduating class of Orthopaedic Medical Magnet High School (OMMHS), “Don’t let anyone tell you something is impossible,” and “Find the thing that will make you want to get out of bed in the morning and spend the rest of your life doing.”
Dr. Beck made her remarks in her role as a distinguished speaker at the June 5 graduation. OMMHS is a medically themed magnet school open to all students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“I was very fortunate to find my passion at a very young age because I knew I wanted to become a doctor since my sixth grade anatomy class,” Dr. Beck told the graduates. “Still today there is nothing I’d rather be doing than orthopaedic surgery. It guides me through difficult times and motivates me to get out of bed every single morning.”
In recalling her own life’s journey, Dr. Beck had a special message for the graduates of a school where 99% of the enrollment are minorities (93% Hispanic) and 97% are economically disadvantaged. “Latinos, and in particular Latinas, are leading the way in improvement in high school graduation rates. That is all of you making a change for the better,” she said. “Still, however, fields such as math, computer science, engineering and business lack diversity, gender and racial equality. My last 19 years have been spent working toward improving the diversity of orthopaedic surgery. Where 19 years ago less than 5% of orthopaedic surgeons were female, today that number has tripled; but clearly we still have room to grow. Hopefully some of you in this graduating class will help us improve on those numbers.”
In addition to her role at OIC, Dr. Beck is assistant clinical professor in the department of orthopaedic surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She was recently selected one of three 2019 Traveling Fellows by the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America and the Asia Pacific Pediatric Orthopaedic Society. Through that fellowship, Dr. Beck visited hospitals in Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea, where she collaborated with local hosts in sharing ideas regarding best practices in caregiving and presented academic lectures to physicians from the host countries.
Dr. Beck’s participation in the graduation ceremony at OMMHS is the latest in a strong history of partnership between OIC and the high school. Representatives from OIC are active in the high school’s advisory committee, and OIC physicians and scientists participate in the curriculum, including speaking at regular seminars and providing career options to students. After-school programs, summer internships and volunteer opportunities at OIC give students exposure to many careers in healthcare and research.
Opened in 2004, OMMHS is located at 300 West 23rd Street, adjacent to OIC’s downtown Los Angeles campus.
About Orthopaedic Institute for Children
Orthopaedic Institute for Children was founded in 1911 as Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital. Focused solely on musculoskeletal conditions in children, OIC receives more than 70,000 patient visits each year. In alliance with UCLA Health and with the support of the OIC Foundation, we advance pediatric orthopaedics worldwide through outstanding patient care, medical education and research. Our locations in downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Westwood and Calexico treat the full spectrum of pediatric orthopaedic disorders and injuries. For more information, visit us at ortho-institute.org.