Only 6% of all surgeons in the United Kingdom are female, and Dr. Samantha Tross is one of them. She’s the first Black British woman to become a consultant Orthopaedic surgeon. Samantha was born in Georgetown Guyana.
Samantha obtained a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery degree from University College London in 1992 and entered the male-dominated field of orthopaedic surgery. Her surgical training was obtained at a number of London Teaching hospitals including St George’s Hospital, The Royal London and Guys & St Thomas’s. She also received Fellowship training overseas at world-renowned centers in Toronto, Canada and Sydney, Australia, gaining further experience in Primary and Revision Hip and Knee Replacement, Computer assisted Arthroplasty, Hip Resurfacing and Knee Arthroscopy.
My Definition Of Success | In my opinion success is being happy in both your personal and professional life. My professional happiness comes from being able to perform at a high level, receiving complimentary feedback from my patients whose lives I have impacted positively, being held in high regard from my peers and being perceived as an inspiration by the younger generation. When I was younger, less emphasis was paid to achieving personal balance but as I age, that has become more important.
I Am Driven By | I am driven by the desire to be the best I can be. This is a quality that was instilled in me at a young age by my parents. As a result I have always been competitive, mainly against myself. I have learnt over time to be kind to myself as sometimes others are better than you and things don’t always work out as you planned. I always make sure whatever the outcome, I have given my best.
My Highlights | Being the first female of AfroCaribbean origin to become an Orthopaedic surgeon in the United Kingdom, being profiled in books ‘Samantha Tross, Orthopaedic surgeon’, Millenium people by John Ferguson and the black Powerlist UK. Most importantly making my parents’ sacrifices for my education worthwhile.
The Characteristics Of Success | Knowing my limitations, knowing when to ask for help, communicating effectively and learning not to be too hard on myself if things don’t always go as planned. The important thing is to always give of my best.
A Key Talent | Self-belief. Without this, I would have stumbled at many hurdles that came my way. Whilst this is innate to a certain extent, it is important that you create/ maintain an environment that supports this. I.e. surround yourself with people who are supportive and have a similar outlook. Take on small challenges first that you are likely to succeed with before taking on more complex tasks. My parents first created the environment for my self-belief to develop and with the steps outlined above, I was able to allow my self-belief to grow.
How I Use My Mind | I have a strong self-belief but set achievable targets and have insight about my limitations. I accept that I am human and things may not always work out the way I planned and that is ok as long as I have done my best. I guess I also have faith that things will work out eventually.
The Best Advice I’ve Received | Believe in myself, reach for the stars but have self-awareness of my limitations.
The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | That young black children particularly females believe a career in surgery as something achievable and that black female Consultant surgeons are accepted as the norm and not perceived with apprehension or curiosity.