Author(s): Joan Arakkal
When Dr Joan Arakkal chooses to specialise in orthopaedics while training in India, a field traditionally occupied by men, she slots into the world of bones with relative ease.
But when her career takes her to the UK, and then Australia, she encounters the 'bonemen' - a boy's club whose members are easily identified in the hospital corridors by their loud voices and self-assured swagger. Their medieval attitudes wield a stranglehold on the development of orthopaedics, compromising patient care.
Joan is totally unprepared for the obstacles and prejudices she encounters - but the tables are turned when she suffers a health scare of her own, which ultimately gives her the perspective she needs to speak and fight without fear.
A provocative reflection on the discrimination, sexism and cartelisation entrenched in the surgical community, and particularly the world of orthopaedics, Slice Girls shines light on a surgical path that is made needlessly challenging for women, and finds that while women are ready for surgery, it forces the question: is surgery ready for women?