January 1999 AAOS Report

Board receives scope of practice, volunteer reports

The Academy Board of Directors, meeting in Chicago Dec. 4-5, 1998, received the report of the Task Force on Expanding the Scope of Practice with eight recommendations ranging from education to practice expansion. The board referred the recommendations to various committees and organizations. Michael H. Graham, MD, chairman of the task force, said it came to consensus on two key issues. First, "continued specialization in orthopaedics can provide high quality care for patients, but current trends toward specialization can have an unwanted outcome: an excess of highly trained surgeons with not enough work to do in their specialty areas. The willingness and ability to provide alternative nonsurgical orthopaedic care can reverse the trend towards a 'surgical technocracy.'" Second, "despite this danger, orthopaedists need to maintain finely honed skills for their continuing surgical care." The Task Force on Volunteer Orthopaedic Care, chaired by John J. Callaghan, MD, also presented a report that reviewed some of the impediments to providing volunteer medical services in the U.S., principally the professional liability issue. The task force made a number of recommendations ranging from establishing a database of free clinics where physicians could volunteer their services to identifying and publicizing academic programs that utilize retired or semi-retired physicians in staffing clinics. The board referred the recommendations to the Committee on Committees to establish an oversight panel to coordinate implementation of the recommendations. The board also approved nominees to the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery: A. Herbert Alexander, MD; James A. Nunley II, MD; Peter J. Stern, MD; and Marc F. Swiontkowski, MD.

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