Humanitarian and diversity efforts, leadership honored with awards
By Mary Ann Porucznik
Richard F. Kyle, MD, 2006-2007 AAOS president, opened the meeting by encouraging attendees to take advantage of the outstanding scientific program and to visit the exhibit hall to “see the very best of what the orthopaedic industry provides, the latest technologies, and the newest devices.”
Dr. Kyle then presented the 8th Annual Humanitarian Award to Lewis G. Zirkle Jr., MD, for his efforts to assist surgeons in developing nations to successfully treat long bone fractures through the Surgical Implant Generation Network (SIGN)—a humanitarian organization dedicated to creating equality of fracture care throughout the world.
Calling Dr. Zirkle “an ultimate humanitarian” and his work “an inspiration to every one of us here today, Dr. Kyle presented him with a $5,000 check for SIGN and the crystal Humanitarian Award. (For more information on Dr. Zirkle and SIGN, see the story on page 8.)
In accepting the award, Dr. Zirkle noted, “We all have our own ‘patch to hoe;’ service is our patch. We have the ability to alleviate a lot of human suffering and the obligation to share our talents. This is what we owe the future.”
The presentation of the 5th Annual Diversity Award to Alvin H. Crawford, MD, followed. Dr. Kyle paid tribute to Dr. Crawford’s efforts in “promoting the values and benefits of diversity within the specialty of orthopaedics” and his leadership “in promoting culturally competent care.”
“Dr. Crawford has crossed medical and orthopaedic color lines, and has done so through his leadership, his scholarly excellence, his teaching and his mentoring of students at all levels,” said Dr. Kyle. (For more information on Dr. Crawford and the Diversity Award, see the story on page 9.)
“I am deeply moved,” said Dr. Crawford, “particularly to receive this award in San Diego, where I started my career.
“Look at the faces around you,” he urged. “The more diverse the group, the broader the vision. When you gather a diverse group and let them talk, sensitivity evolves. It’s not what you say, but what they hear that matters.”
Tipton Leadership Award
After a short remembrance of former AAOS Executive Vice President William W. Tipton Jr., MD, Dr. Kyle introduced Richard J. Haynes, MD, winner of the initial award, and Patricia Tipton. Dr. Haynes presented the second Tipton Leadership Award to Stuart A. Hirsch, MD, of New Jersey. (See related story on page 11.)
In presenting the award, Dr. Haynes noted that “Stuart is a mentor, an advisor, a leader by example, and above all, a physician dedicated to his patients and his Academy. He embodies every criterion that the committee recognized as important in remembering and honoring Bill Tipton’s leadership skills.”
Dr. Hirsch, as he accepted the award, noted that “true leadership is always a team sport,” and promised to continue his efforts to realize the vision of imagination, ingenuity, tenacity and advocacy embodied in the award.
“Building the best—life-long learning”
After Dr. Beaty was introduced as the AAOS new president, he defined his goal: “to ensure that, though great leadership, and especially through education and life-long learning, this Academy will be the ultimate resource to serve the needs of our members and most importantly, our patients.”
“What a great time it is to be an orthopaedic surgeon,” Dr. Beaty exclaimed as preface to a review of the Academy’s organizational structure, highlighted current activities and proposed an agenda for the near future. To illustrate the importance of communication, he previewed the Academy’s new television public service announcement, which features a patient and a physician receiving counseling to improve their communications.
In the area of advocacy, said Dr. Beaty, “we are, indeed, in very capable hands,” and singled out Advocacy Council Chair David A. Halsey, MD; Political Action Committee (PAC) Chair Stuart L. Weinstein, MD; and incoming First Vice President E. Anthony Rankin, MD. While admitting that “for many orthopaedic surgeons, political activity and the political process are not a comfortable fit,” Dr. Beaty also noted that orthopaedic surgeons “must be at the table” to achieve their goals.
He encouraged members to develop a personal relationship with their representatives and senators, to participate in fund raising activities, and support the PAC.
Dr. Beaty then turned his attention to the orthopaedic on-call crisis in emergency rooms across the country. He made three important points:
Orthopaedic surgeons are the best physicians to provide emergency care for patients with skeletal trauma.
Patients, hospitals, payers, and the government must share and assist in these duties and responsibilities.
The situation is unique and different for each community.
Dr. Beaty then turned to the issue of technology assessment, promising that the Academy will hold a three-day workshop on the topic in the spring. After that workshop, he said, the Academy would return with a message to members and to the public on how and at what level the Academy will participate in new technology assessment.
“Education is what we are about,” said Dr. Beaty, who then outlined plans to “raise the bar” for the Academy’s education program. He pledged to continue unity efforts to collaborate and joint venture with specialty societies in education and communication efforts.
Dr. Beaty also pledged that any relationship between the Academy and orthopaedic industry would be able to pass the “smell test;” that sponsorships and partnerships would be appropriate and ethical.
Finally, Dr. Beaty returned his attention to education, which he called “the foundation of our Academy.” He acknowledged the “ever-changing world of education for physicians, especially orthopaedic surgeons,” and focused on the gradual transition from teacher-driven education to self-directed learner-driven education.
“There is a concern,” he said, “that evidence-based continuing medical education (CME) that is primarily lecture-based [and] didactic [in nature] may not change physician behavior or improve patient outcomes.” He encouraged the audience to maintain a “primary knowledge” base as orthopaedic surgeons while they advance their specialty education.
In this way, CME would transition to CPD (Continuous Professional Development), a process that is learner-controlled, uses all multimedia in multiple venues, and is tailored and customized to the learner.
In conclusion, Dr. Beaty urged everyone to “focus on building the best…to continue your education effort throughout your entire career, and to move from continuing medical education to continuous personal and professional development.”
Rankin urges “get up, get out, get moving, and get involved”
Dr. Kyle then introduced the first African-American to be in the Academy’s presidential line, incoming First Vice President E. Anthony Rankin, MD. Dr. Rankin urged members to “get up, get out, get moving, and one more get—get involved!”
“If we stay within our comfort zones,” he said, “I’m afraid that won’t be enough to keep our practices and our patients’ lives from being negatively affected by what’s going on in the rest of the political arena.”
A focus on advocacy is needed, said Dr. Rankin, who applauded the increase in participation with the PAC, but said that a check was not enough. “We need to get more involved in seeing our legislators, in working on the state and local levels, and in tracking legislation and regulations.
“If you really want to get involved,” he said, “think about running for office or becoming the medical advisor for a candidate.”
Dr. Rankin reviewed the Unified Advocacy Agenda, and the Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Legislative Package being developed. “While there is a lot going on,” he said, “we want to look at the quality—not just the quantity—of advocacy.”
He also examined the Academy’s research efforts, particularly the work of the Evidence-based Practice Committee and the new Guidelines Oversight Committee.
“We must maintain educational excellence, promote effective advocacy, provide high quality research and efficient communication—both internal and external,” he concluded.
Finally, Dr. Beaty recognized Dr. Kyle’s efforts to lead the Academy to greater heights through his efforts in unity, in communication, and in “loyal dedication to our service men and women…an inspiration to those of us who follow in your footsteps.”