Item Writer Spotlight

Interview, Summer 2024

Dr. Stephanie Muh

 

AAOS has many volunteers who contribute to the Academy’s examination development process. Through their experience and expertise, they offer their time to help build the future of our examination product offerings. Each quarter, we will celebrate these efforts with a featured volunteer in the AAOS Item Writer Spotlight.

Stephanie Muh, MD, FAAOS is our featured volunteer for the Summer 2024 AAOS Item Writer Spotlight. Dr. Muh has served on the Education Assessments and Examinations Committee (EAEC) since 2020. We recently had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Muh about volunteering with the Academy and the great contributions she has made.

Thank you, Dr. Muh!

 

Tell us a little bit about your background as an orthopaedic surgeon.

I grew up in Florida and went to college at Emory University in Atlanta. From there I spent two years doing some research at the University of Pennsylvania before matriculating into medical school at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Throughout my younger life, I always had an interest in orthopaedics, having sustained multiple orthopaedic injuries. As a child of immigrant parents, they instilled in me the qualities of hard work and resilience - to forge my own path into a career that I love.

I always knew I wanted to go into medicine, but it was the impactful experiences throughout my younger life that nurtured and fostered my passion in orthopaedics. I suffered athletic injuries over the years which required multiple surgeries on various body parts. From seeing how those surgeries allowed me to return to my crazy antics to my exposure in the operating room, the purpose of these surgeries just seemed to “click” in my mind. It gave me the determination to do anything and everything in my power to obtain a coveted orthopaedic residency position.


How many years have you been an AAOS volunteer?

I have been volunteering with the Academy since 2019.


What has been the most rewarding thing about participating in exam development?

Knowing that I am playing a important part in educating the next generation of orthopaedic surgeons and trying to guide them into what are important topics they should understand in relation to shoulder and elbow topics.


For someone who wants to become a strong item writer, what’s the most important skill to develop?

It’s important to be able to create a real-life scenario for the examiner of the topic of interest. Our goal is to have the examiner really get a sense of what they could see in the real-life situations.


For young women interested in pursuing a career in orthopaedic surgery, what advice would you offer?

Don’t be afraid to reach out and grasp what you want. Don’t let outside opinion deter you from what you are passionate about. It’s not an easy road but the reward of being an orthopaedic surgeon outweighs the negatives. Get involved early with a mentor and advocate who can help guide and offer advice and support on your journey.


What inspired your decision to specialize in shoulder and elbow orthopaedics?

During residency I fell in love with shoulder and elbow surgery. Part of the enticement was the fact that everyone else seemed to shy away from these joints because they seemed to have unpredictable outcomes. For me this was another challenge and an area where I felt that I could make a difference in a field that is continuing to evolve with our understanding of the complex joints and options we have to treat patients.


Outside of medicine, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy in your free time?

Traveling. I enjoy seeing the world and what different cultures have to offer. I am always looking for my next adventure. At home, I love cooking and spending time with my furbabies.

 

To get involved and become an AAOS Item Writer,
click here or email WriteExams@aaos.org