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Friday, March 17, 2000

Maintaining skills and knowledge through lifelong learning

Every orthopaedic surgeon has an ethical and professional obligation to stay abreast of the accelerating knowledge expansion occurring in the musculoskeletal sciences. The covenant which exists between surgeon and patient, and between the profession and society, requires the acceptance of this obligation. The rate of growth of scientific knowledge and clinical experience in our specialty place an extraordinary responsibility on each fellow of the Academy to maintain his or her knowledge base.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons believes that a lifelong commitment to continuing education is essential for its fellows. It is essential if we as professionals are to fulfill our commitment to provide quality health care. The choice of educational methods or experience is the responsibility of the individual fellow. The Academy places no specific requirements on its fellows in terms of areas or types of instruction, minimum number of hours of education during a particular time period, or preferred providers of educational programs.

However, the Academy believes that each orthopaedist must develop his or her approach to knowledge maintenance in an organized and explicit manner to assure that it addresses content in all areas in which care is provided. To do this requires:

As an organization devoted to the education of orthopaedic surgeons and others, the Academy makes available to its fellows and others, current authoritative and evaluative educational materials to enhance their knowledge and to facilitate the provision of improved patient care. The Academy's commitment to education is enduring and substantive. Every orthopaedist should make a similar commitment to excellence.

March 1991
Reviewed May 1996

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Last modified 24/February/2000 by IS