Dr. Jennifer Wood
Meet Dr. Jennifer Wood.
A dual-fellowship trained and board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Jennifer Wood, MD, FAAOS is passionate about helping people regain their function and get back to doing what they love.
Fairfax County Economic Development Authority sat down with Dr. Wood to learn more about her incredible journey in the medical field, as well as the roads that led her to Northern Virginia.
Thanks for sitting down with us, Jennifer. So, how long have you lived + worked in Northern Virginia and what brought you to the area?
Hi, and thank you for having me! I moved to Northern Virginia last August, almost exactly a year ago, and officially began working for OrthoVirginia as an orthopedic surgeon and the head of the orthopedic trauma program in Reston during September.
Prior to that, I had been living in Minnesota and working at a Level 1 trauma center for many years (Twin Cities Orthopedics/North Memorial Hospital in the greater Minneapolis area). But I was born and raised in the mid-Atlantic. And those Minnesota winters can be brutal.
When the opportunity to develop, build, and lead OrthoVirginia’s trauma program at Reston Hospital Center arose, it seemed like a great opportunity. It allows me to bring all the knowledge and skills I learned at that Level 1 trauma center back to the people of my home state, including the direct anterior approach to hip replacement, which is relatively common in Minneapolis, but less so here. I’m one of a handful of surgeons in the Reston/Herndon area who perform the procedure this way. It’s less invasive, requires less time in the hospital, and is associated with less pain in the immediate recovery period.
As a female in what is still predominantly a male-dominated field, it was also very important to me to have a working environment and be located within a broader community where I wasn’t known as the “female orthopedic surgeon,” but where I was accepted as a fellow surgeon. Where my experiences, values, and opinions were listened to and respected. That welcoming and supportive atmosphere has been present since the beginning of the interview process through the current day. And I’m not the only one that’s noticed that – patients rave to me about the team approach, about our nurses and support staff, about the care and attention, and tell me they are so glad they chose to receive care here.
What was the most surprising thing that you have learned about Northern Virginia after moving here?
I’ve been amazed by the versatility of the region – you can be in a downtown city scene, go hiking, or be in wine country all in the same day. The restaurant quality and the sheer magnitude of cultural activities that are available is so impressive. And with two major airports, Amtrak, Metro, etc. there’s an ease to traveling within the region, the East Coast, and internationally.
People-wise, I’ve been thrilled by my colleagues, and our top-notch physician assistants and other support staff. They truly work as a team and have created an environment where I can both personally feel comfortable and know that my patients are receiving the best care possible. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how warmly the Northern Virginia community itself has welcomed both me and my fiancée. Northern Virginia is an area that does see a lot of individuals moving in from different parts of the country or world, and that may make it easier to make friends and personal connections here than in some areas where there is less in-migration.
What would you tell someone who is considering moving to and starting a career in Northern Virginia?
Do it! It’s been a great experience, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. When I was looking to relocate, I wanted to live and work in a community and region that remains active throughout their lives: I’m a snowboarder, hiker, former college club basketball and softball player, and have dabbled in flag football and rugby within the rec league circuit.
I was also looking for somewhere culturally diverse that offers a wide variety of attractions and a fantastic restaurant scene. I’m a foodie that loves the theater and professional sports. Sorry Commanders fans, but after living in Minnesota for so many years, I’m a die-hard Vikings fan for life!
As a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I was also looking for a region that was open, accepting, and welcoming to all. And I’ve found all that here in Northern Virginia. I’m so happy with the area that I’ve already convinced my mother, sister, and brother all to follow me here.
Switching gears here, we must ask: What is your perfect weekend in the Greater Washington, D.C. region?
This is a tough one, because there are so many excellent options. I love Reston’s extensive trail system, so I’d probably start the day off with a coffee and a walk there, or at Great Falls National Park. Follow that up with lunch on the patio overlooking the lake at Red’s Table in South Lakes Village Center. Maybe sneak in a nap, and then head out for the afternoon to Stone Tower Winery.
I’ve also just recently attended the Out and About Festival at Wolf Trap, which was my first visit there, so I’m keeping a close eye on the concert calendar for other upcoming shows. In football season, of course, I’m headed to Ireland’s Four Courts in Arlington to watch the Vikings play with the NOVAVIKES (The Northern Virginia Minnesota Vikings’ Fan Club). They’ve been closed for construction, but rumor has it they will be reopening any day now, so I’m optimistic we’ll get to watch the whole season there. And there’s so much here that I haven’t explored yet, so in an ideal weekend, I’d also add in some time for checking out new locations and experiences.
Finally, what makes Dr. Jennifer Wood a trailblazer in Northern Virginia?
My goal is to provide Northern Virginia residents with the best orthopedic care. I plan to grow and enhance the orthopedic trauma program at Reston Hospital Center. I’m also serving as one of the physician leaders of “OrthoVA On-Call,” which is looking to open several new locations within the region to help improve timely and after-hours access for orthopedic care. And I want to make the direct anterior hip replacement approach the go-to way of treating hip replacements in Northern Virginia.
I also want to serve as a role model for other female or LGBTQIA+ individuals in the area who are considering orthopedic surgery as a career. The field itself still lacks diversity, and when I look around at my colleagues in 20 years, I want to see faces that better reflect the population. This region is incredibly diverse, and I want every interested individual to be able to see themselves pursuing orthopedic surgery as a career.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
My care philosophy is that people should get the best treatment, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, age, or any other factor. I treat patients like I would want my family to be treated, and I like my family. From their initial consultation to the scar left behind after a successful surgery, I focus on the details. I’m dedicated to people regaining mobility and being able to return to the activities they love- whether that be skiing, gardening, biking, recreational sports, or a Netflix marathon.
And I want to receive that kind of treatment – whether it’s related to healthcare, to a shopping experience, a meal in a restaurant, or just going about my everyday life. I’ve found that in Northern Virginia. It really is a place not only to build your career, but to build your life.
Northern Virginia is the perfect place to launch a career in the medical field. Whether you’re an expert or a first-time job seeker, there are currently more than 15,000 open jobs in health and life sciences here! Click here to explore the career opportunities.