Courtney Toombs, MD

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Courtney Toombs, MD
PGY-5 Resident Physician-Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Yale New Haven Hospital
New Haven, CT

Why did you join AAOS?

Every orthopaedic surgeon in training knows about the AAOS and understands the value of joining this community. There is no larger and more powerful organization than the AAOS for advancing orthopaedic research, education, collaboration and advocacy.

Do you currently volunteer with a committee? If yes, which one(s)?

I am a member of the Resident Research and the Resident Education Committees. These committees have allowed me to become involved with activities such as joining the Spine journal Review Board, which appeals to my experience with research. I engaged in a research year before residency, which inspired my interest in spine surgery, and I have since been able to publish a broad number of studies. It is exciting to now be on the other side of the process reviewing articles for my peers.

How do you define success?

Success is achieving your personal best: setting a high bar for your operative abilities, care of patients, research quality and professional relationships. I recently matched at New York University for the Spine Surgery Fellowship and while this was a major accomplishment, I cannot rest on this milestone. The hard work to prepare for fellowship begins now during chief year so that I am prepared for the next step.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

My parents have always been my biggest inspiration. I have no doctors in my family and my parents came from very modest backgrounds and sacrificed a great deal to provide my sister and me with access to educational opportunities. I have tried to take advantage of every door they have opened for me and use that to give back to others through a career in medicine.

How has the AAOS helped you throughout your career?

I appreciate the ability to collaborate with others academically and to advance the field. As someone with a strong interest in research, I have been fortunate to present my published work at AAOS many times over the last few years and publish a recent AAOS ICL on advancements in the orthopaedic treatment of metastatic bone lesions. I know the AAOS will help connect me with opportunities for a career in academic medicine.

What advice would you give to new members of AAOS?

Get involved! Join committees, submit your research, and attend the Annual Meeting. The relationships you will build through your involvemnet with AAOS will guide you through your career.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know?

I have a degree in creative writing and published my first book, a New York Times bestseller, in college. It has since been challenging to keep up my writing while pursuing a career in surgery, but I recently published an Op-Ed piece in AAOS Now about my experiences in training during COVID.