SSM Health adds first female orthopedic surgeon

Surgeon is following in father's footsteps

SSM Health adds first female...

MADISON, Wis. - SSM Health has added its first female orthopedic surgeon, but her path to the career there started decades earlier, and has been a family affair.

Dr. Anne Stitgen began her career as an orthopedic surgeon at SSM Health in September and within a few months, her father, Dr. Jeff Stitgen, will retire after more than 30 years as an orthopedic surgeon.

“We sort of made the pact when she got accepted into orthopedic training that I would hang in there until she is done,” said Dr. Jeff Stitgen.

Orthopedic surgery is a male-dominated specialty in the U.S.  Of the nearly 20,000 practicing orthopedic surgeons, only 5 percent are female.

“No one ever told me that I couldn’t or wouldn’t do it.  There are not very many female orthopedic surgeons.  Dean Clinic started in 1904, and I’m their first orthopedic surgeon,” said Dr. Anne Stitgen.

While she shares the operating room with her father for the next few weeks, they are not the only Dr. Stitgen’s at SSM Health.

Jeff’s brother, Stu is also an orthopedic surgeon, and Anne’s brother, Mike is studying to become an orthopedic surgeon.

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