Today's News

Saturday, March 3, 2001

Dr. Tolo: AAOS to focus on leadership development

Vernon T. Tolo, MD, AAOS first vice president, told the audience at the Ceremonial Meeting Friday that in addition to supporting the program outlined for AAOS in 2005, he also will focus on AAOS leadership development, issues of the academic community and diversity.

And, he urged a "refocus" on the relationship between the various segments of the membership and the AAOS in its entirety.

The AAOS has established a task force to develop a database to better identify the abilities and skills of members to be leaders. "We need leaders in the education area, the advocacy arena and in the research field," he said. "Use of a competency basis to choose our leaders of task forces, committees and work groups will help us to have excellence in the work of these groups, while serving as a training ground for effective leaders in orthopaedics in the future."

Concerning the academic community, he observed that "many outside of the academic arena have an incorrect idea of what academic practice is today. It is much more similar to the private practice or group practice model than was the case even a decade or two ago. Nearly all academic orthopaedists have their income keyed to the collections from services in the outpatient area and in the OR.

"The time has come to help our academic members address more effectively many of the common problems that are present nationwide. This is the training ground for our future orthopaedists and strategies are needed to help our academic centers not only survive, but prosper, to keep the quality of orthopaedic training high."

Diversity needs to be emphasized in orthopaedics, Dr. Tolo said. "This means partly a focused program to diversify orthopaedic training programs and AAOS membership," he explained. "But it also means a more focused push to identify minority groups receiving insufficient orthopaedic care in the U.S. And it means increased cultural competence in understanding better the mores and expectations of orthopaedic care among diverse ethnic groups."

The AAOS has been successful in building an improved linkage with the state orthopaedic societies and the Board of Councilors, Dr. Tolo said, and "we will work on our relationship with the academic segment of our membership. But those from which I see the greatest threat to drift off from the AAOS umbrella are the specialty societies.

"Over half of the AAOS members are members of a specialty society. The specialty society members are the primary producers of the educational content in the Academy publications and courses, as well as here at the Annual Meeting. Since education remains the primary mission of Academy, it is apparent that the specialty society members are key to our on-going educational success.

"In some cases, the members of the specialty societies may view allegiance to their specialty society as more important than their involvement with the Academy. I think it is essential that the links of these specialty society members to the AAOS continue to be considered important and valuable."

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