Annual Meeting Program Committee chair promises something for everyone

Sessions organized to enrich your subspecialty education

By Kathleen Misovic
The AAOS 2006 Annual Meeting is offering such a wide variety of symposium and paper presentations on your subspecialty, you will want to attend them all. Fortunately this won’t be impossible, since the Program Committee organized all the sessions along subspecialty topics this year.

“There are fewer general othopaedists today. More and more orthopaedic surgeons are either subspecialists, or they have a subspecialty interest,” explained William D. Maloney, MD, chair of the Annual Meeting Program Committee. “So to maximize our members’ educational opportunities, we organized the educational program to work to their advantage.”

Thanks to the planning of Dr. Maloney and the rest of the Program Committee, symposium and paper sessions on each subspecialty are equally distributed throughout the sessions. This will ensure that members don’t have to forgo presentations they would like to attend because they are all being held at the same time.

William D. Maloney, MD

“If you’re not careful with your scheduling, you can have sessions where there’s three or four events offered on one subspecialty, and other sessions where there’s none,” Dr. Maloney said. “Since members can only attend one event per session, this means there would be times when they would have no events to attend.”

The Program Committee has also taken care to better organize the overall days. The smaller subspecialties with fewer educational sessions are all scheduled for the end of the week, so members interested in these topics can arrive later in the week.

“We really tried to be conscious of our members’ time,” Dr. Maloney said.

Fine-tuning the programs
Besides incorporating a more convenient schedule, the Program Committee has also worked to strengthen the material in the educational program. “For the symposia we tried to emphasize cutting edge material, and choose topics that are topical, such as minimally invasive procedures,” Dr. Maloney said. “The instructional course lectures will feature more hard facts and more tried and true accepted procedures.”

As Program Committee chairman, Dr. Maloney’s duties included organizing the education program, soliciting symposia, grading papers and organizing the sessions. He said the most challenging part of his job was trying to choose papers and other information to present at the meeting from among the large volume submitted.

“There’s an art to looking at about 3,800 abstracts submitted, cutting down the information and organizing it into sessions with some theme,” he said. “The logistics are very immense when you consider the tight deadline.”

Dr. Maloney credited member volunteers and AAOS staff in assisting the Program Committee in its large task. He said he was able to maintain his focus by keeping one goal in mind.

“Through all the work I realized the most important thing was to provide members with information they can take home to their practice,” Dr. Maloney said. “The meeting is only successful if members feel they got something out of it.”

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