New Dimensions

Arthritis Today|September/October 2019

New Dimensions

Bonnie Mason used to mend bones. Now she nurtures dreams.

Michele Cohen Marill

Bonnie Simpson Mason, MD, faces the conference room in a power pose, hands on hips, and the medical students rise from their seats to copy her stance. Poised and confident, genial but firm, she shares her tips for success: “Be an initiator. Be a problem-solver. Be resourceful. Be that person who’s there early, who stays late, who’s always enthusiastic.”

Dr. Mason herself is all of that. Those attributes helped her become an orthopedic surgeon – an African American woman in a highly competitive, male-dominated field. And when rheumatoid arthritis (RA) made it too difficult to continue, those qualities helped her continue to succeed in another career.

Dr. Mason, 48, runs Nth Dimensions, a nonprofit organization she created to provide mentoring, scholarships and research opportunities for women and minority students seeking to enter competitive medical and surgical specialties. She also helps physicians learn the business of medicine through her company, Beyond the Exam Room, and is a visiting professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky.

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September/October 2019