Dr. Jo Hannafin, M.D., Ph.D

Orthopedic Surgeon and Director of the Women's Sports Medicine Center, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York

Dr. Hannafin is a Hospital Hero, not just for conducting cutting-edge research and being one of the top doctors in the country, but also for being a trailblazer for women in medicine.

When Dr. Jo Hannafin tells her patients, “I know what you’re going through,” she really means it.

Many of Hannafin’s patients are world-class athletes, from Olympic competitors to professional basketball players on the New York Liberty, a WNBA team. Yet, Dr. Hannafin isn’t just an excellent doctor, she’s also a lifelong athlete.

In her college years, Dr. Hannifan joined Brown University’s first female rowing team, and went on to win three gold medals at the U.S. National Rowing Championships and a silver at the 1984 World Rowing Championships. When she suffered a devastating knee injury, her orthopedist inspired her to pursue the field of sports medicine.

We’re recognizing Dr. Hannafin as a Hospital Hero, not just for conducting cutting-edge research and being one of the top doctors in the country, but also for being a trailblazer for women in medicine.

In a medical field in which less than five percent of board-certified orthopedic surgeons are women, Dr. Hannafin was the first clinician-scientist, the first female sports medicine fellow, and first female sports medicine attending at Manhattan’s Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). In 2013, she was appointed the first female president of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM).

As someone who has been shattering glass ceilings for decades, Dr. Hannafin is an inspiration to the female Hospital Heroes she mentors. What lessons does she want to pass down to them?

“Maybe there were times of my life where I worked even harder to prove that I was as good as the guys I trained with, but I don’t think that stood in my way. If I’m good at what I do, I’m going to work really hard. That’s the message I want to send.”

Read more about Dr. Hannafin in Wag Magazine.