April 2001 AAOS Report

Dr. Gelberman: 'It's time to set our agenda.'

AAOS must lead with its strengths, not act to defend its weaknesses, said Richard H. Gelberman, MD, in his first vice presidential speech at the 68th Annual Meeting. "The time has come for us to stop reacting to the agendas set by others" said Dr. Gelberman who became AAOS president at the Annual Meeting. "It's time to step back, look around, and see what we're good at. It's time to set our agenda." AAOS in 2005, a task force made up of board and staff members, gathered data on the incidence, prevalence, impact, cost and outcomes-the burden of musculoskeletal diseases. The task force also looked at the impact that musculoskeletal care has had on health care in America and on the importance of research. Dr. Gelberman noted that this year, "musculoskeletal conditions have cost Americans a staggering $254 billion dollars, up 40 percent in just five years." He continued: "A study of 35 million Medicare patients revealed, among other things, that whether or not you have orthopaedic surgery depends a great deal on who you and where you live." Gathering the facts on burden of disease and the social impact of musculoskeletal care, the AAOS will have a stronger case to make for education and advocacy with Congress, the Health Care Financing Administration, National Institutes of Health and others, including the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, Dr. Gelberman said.

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