Today's News

Thursday, March 1, 2001

AAOS shines spotlight on practice, communications, awareness, programs

The 68th Annual Meeting of the AAOS got underway Wednesday with an exciting opening ceremony that shined a spotlight on new programs to improve patient-physician communications, practice management and the public's awareness about orthopaedics.

The lively ceremony, interspersed with video and slides, featured an array of recognition and awards, starting with the colorful parade of presidents of international societies and ending with an address by Howard H. Steel, MD, welcoming 640 orthopaedists into the AAOS.

The second annual AAOS Humanitarian awards were given to the late Ernest Burgess, MD, for his dedication in helping amputees in developing countries to be fitted with prostheses so they could walk again. (The award was accepted by his daughter, Donna Burgess.) Charles Hamlin, MD, received the award for his efforts in providing free hand surgical care to the Navajo Indians in Chinle, Ariz.

Lillian Leslie, national vice president of the Kappa Delta Sorority, and Gary Friedlaender, MD, chairman of the Research Committee, presented the Kappa Delta Awards. Victor Goldberg, MD, presented the OREF Clinical Research award.

S. Terry Canale, MD, AAOS president, told the audience in the Gateway ballroom that while patient relations and communications have increased attention, the AAOS is "capable of handling the many issues in education, research, communication and health policy that face us." And, he expressed confidence that the AAOS Council on Health Policy will be more proactive than in the past.

"Education is our primary mission and most important endeavor," Dr. Canale said. And the AAOS is meeting the challenge of significant changes in the delivery of education as the printed textbook is replaced by online publications. The Council on Education is developing two online electronic resources, "Indications Conference" and "Online Reference and Review." The Council also is working on a virtual reality model that could, in the future, change skills courses.

Focusing on patient relations, Dr. Canale said, "We now all realize just how important interactive communication with our patients is. We owe our patients emotional support. We owe them time. We owe them the best care and we owe them our compassion."

The AAOS Council on Education and Board of Councilors is exploring a variety of methods to improve communications. "I am convinced we will be the leader in organized medicine and patient-physician communication," Dr. Canale said. "By our example, residencies and more medical schools will become active in this arena."

A task force formed by the AAOS in 2005 project is looking at ways to improve practice management. The task force has solicited input from the BONES Society, a national organization of orthopaedic administrators.

Dr. Canale said he was most proud of the AAOS's public relations and marketing effort. He enumerated the highlights of the past year and introduced a new theme for this year-"Getting You Back in the Game"-that features patient stories. The campaign will be distributed to more than 13,000 television, radio and print media outlets and 100 airports.

He also called attention to the eMotion Pictures, an Exhibition of Orthopaedics in Art, which is now on display at the Herbst International exhibition Hall at the Presidio in San Francisco. The exhibit may be shown in Washington, D.C.; the United Nations in New York; and in Chicago. The art was created by orthopaedic surgeons and orthopaedic patients. Yaacov Agam, a famed artist, presented the AAOS with a gift of his kinetic artwork.

Dr. Canale also highlighted the volunteer efforts of orthopaedists, industry partners and others in building a safe, accessible playground in San Mateo, Calif. in one day-Tuesday. The AAOS built a playground at the 2000 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. and received the Summit Award Wednesday from the American Society of Association Executives for the project.

The audience was encouraged to look for a special insert in the Friday issue of USA Today which has a circulation of more than 5 million. The insert, called Orthopaedics in Motion, tells the story of who orthopaedists are, what they do and the impact they have on patients' lives.

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Last modified 01/March/2001 by IS