March 2003 AAOS Report

AAOS signs "amicus curiae" brief

At its meeting on Feb. 5, 2003, the AAOS Board of Directors voted to sign an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of the University of Michigan Law School policy that considers race as one factor among many in making admissions decisions. The brief was prepared by the Association of American Medical Colleges and urges the Supreme Court to consider its decision's possible negative impact on the availability of competent minority physicians and health care professionals who provide culturally competent care. According to 2002-2003 AAOS President Vernon T. Tolo, MD., "The decision to support the brief is an outgrowth of the Board's commitment to support diversity within the orthopaedic profession and our organization. This is not about supporting quotas but rather bolsters a consideration of race and ethnicity among many factors for medical school admission. We have long supported programs and initiatives for AAOS members and others to provide high quality, culturally competent, safe and cost effective musculoskeletal care for all patients."

The AAOS joined 30 other groups in signing the AAMC amicus curiae brief, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Internal Medicine.

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