With more than thirty years of service at Children’s National Health System, Laura L. Tosi, MD, is the director of the Bone Health Program focusing on maximizing the independence of children and adults with bone health challenges. Although she began her medical training in internal medicine, she quickly found her passion in the world of orthopaedics, and became one of the first female surgeons on staff at Children’s National.
As a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon who focuses on working with children with disabilities, Dr. Tosi enjoys the opportunity to follow her patients from infancy to adulthood. She values her ability to improve the quality of life for her patients, and she enjoys witnessing the bond formed when families who face similar challenges are introduced to each other. She works diligently to improve the bone health of children who are diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, cancer and many other bone-damaging diseases that increase a child’s risk for painful fractures.
During the holidays, she enjoys giving her co-workers a gift which underscores the importance of musculoskeletal health.
“I like to give little shoe ornaments. The shoes are symbolic of the wonderful role my profession can play in patients’ lives. We have the opportunity to help each child reach their highest possible level of independence …. So they will need shoes!”
Other projects on Dr. Tosi’s agenda include conducting natural history research on osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease), searching for genetic precursors of bone and muscle health, and collaborating with numerous organizations and teams that seek to improve bone health across the lifespan. She also leads a summer research program for students from George Washington University School of Medicine who think they might want a career in orthopaedics.
When asked about the legacy she’d hope to leave at Children’s National, Dr. Tosi said she hopes to change people’s mindset about bone health. ”When I first started to develop the program, many people wondered why it was important,” says Dr. Tosi. “Yet today, we are caring for an exploding number of survivors of childhood onset conditions, many of whom suffer from poor bone health due to their treatment, condition, or both.” The Bone health Program has a unique opportunity to help these patients not just survive, but thrive.
“Stronger is being more independent, helping as many children as possible to become more independent.”