April 2000 AAOS Report

It's time to shift focus from plans to patient, says Dr. Canale

"For the last several years, managed care has been our focus and our patients have taken a back seat. It is time we move from the plan to the patient," S. Terry Canale, MD, AAOS president, told the annual Business Meeting at the Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. last month. "We must turn this around and become aware of who we are. We are orthopaedic surgeons; that is what we do, nothing more or nothing less. We are not entrepreneurs, not insurance brokers, not managed care gurus, and not landlords of outpatient surgery centers. We are physicians treating the patient first." He stressed the need for orthopaedic surgeons to brush up on their abilities to communicate with and listen to their patients. And, he encouraged members to rededicate themselves to continuing medical education so they could provide their patients with the best care. Richard H. Gelberman, MD, AAOS first vice president, told the annual Business Meeting that the Academy will initiate a pilot program to enable members to access immediate information on operative procedures anywhere and anytime. Another program, the Burden of Disease, promises to focus the Academy as the primary source of verifiable information on the incidence, impact, cost and outcomes of musculoskeletal care.

In addition to electing Dr. Canale, AAOS president, and Dr. Gelberman, first vice president, Vernon T. Tolo, MD, was named second vice president; William J. Robb, III, MD, secretary; and Andrew J. Weiland, MD, treasurer. Other members of the Board of Directors are Robert D. D'Ambrosia, MD, and James D. Heckman, MD, past presidents. Members-at-large are Joseph P. Iannotti, MD, PhD; Ramon L. Jimenez, MD; Darren L. Johnson, MD, and Thomas P. Sculco, MD. Representing the Board of Councilors are John R. Tongue, MD, chairman; David A. Halsey, MD, chairman-elect; and Lowry Jones Jr., MD, secretary. Representing the Council of Musculoskeletal Specialty Societies is Richard B. Welch, MD, chairman, and Gary E. Friedlaender, MD, chairman-elect. William W. Tipton, Jr., MD, executive vice president, is ex officio.

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