Miss Tross works with various charities and organisations to help promote surgery as a career for women and under-represented minorities. Recently, she was honoured by global organisation MIPAD (Most Influential People of African Descent) for her role as Trustee of the British Association of Black Surgeons.
In October 2023, she received the joint Special Recognition Award for contribution to Diversity in Surgery from the Caribbean Global Awards and HERA.
Why were you attracted to specialising in orthopaedic surgery?
I loved the fact that patients were generally well, with only an injured body part and that the results of the surgical intervention, could be seen fairly quickly. In my subspeciality of hip and knee surgery, we are moving towards day case hip and knee replacement surgery. Orthopaedic surgery offers a wide range of subspecialities and enables you to treat young and old, male and female patients. In addition, the first female surgeon I saw was an Orthopaedic Surgeon and the surgeons I worked with were mostly encouraging.
What was the proudest moment in your career?
I don’t have a single moment. Passing my exams and becoming the first black female Orthopaedic Surgeon in the UK, the first female in Europe to perform Mako Robotic Hip Surgery, and being asked by my Orthopaedic colleague to perform a knee replacement on his mother when there were other surgeons in the department who were also capable of performing the procedure have to be my top ones. These achievements are equaled though by seeing my patients achieve the outcomes they desired due to my surgical expertise.
Tell us about your role as Trustee of the British Association of Black Surgeons and what that entails.
The British Association of Black Surgeons charity was formed in response to the negative differential attainment achieved by black surgeons compared to their white counterparts as well as other minority groups. The organisation aims to be a source of education and mentoring for its members but also aims to work alongside the Royal Colleges and relevant organisations to promote equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging within the surgical landscape. I am one of the Founding Members. As a Trustee, my role, along with other Trustees is to be responsible and accountable for the overall running of the charity.
What advice would you give to young black women who are interested in a career in surgery?
It’s a wonderful profession and one absolutely within their capability. They should take time to know themselves, so they can make a career choice aligned with their strengths, find a suitable mentor and build a strong support network. Most importantly they should work on bolstering their self confidence in case they encounter any negativity.
What are your interests outside of work?
I work with various organisations and charities to raise awareness of surgery as a career for women and under-represented minority groups. Aside from that, I love dancing, fine dining and travel. I’m a lifelong learner and am always seeking new experiences.