April 2002 Bulletin

Community awareness program builds understanding

Gives orthopaedists outreach resources

Although orthopaedists are the most knowledgeable and educated physicians for treating musculoskeletal conditions, the general population doesn’t always know it. So, AAOS created the Community Orthopaedic Awareness Program (COAP) to:

The COAP program was specifically created to help orthopaedic surgeons raise awareness or orthopaedic practice in their local communities. It includes ready-to-use presentations and hand out materials that can be used in a variety of public and civic settings. COAP continues themes used in AAOS nationwide public service announcement (PSA) campaigns, which are brief messages of community interest that inform the public about musculoskeletal conditions via television, radio, newspaper, magazine and airport advertisements. This helps tie the local effort to a national campaign.

Building understanding at the local level

"Protecting our patients from needless injury is a number one priority of orthopaedic surgeons," says Stuart Hirsch, MD, chairman of the Academy’s Council on Communications. COAP builds understanding of orthopaedic treatments, injury prevention, health and wellness at the local level. Orthopaedists who choose to share their time and expertise with audiences in their own communities demonstrate a caring and compassionate attitude that is important to patients. They also establish orthopaedic surgeons as experts in treating musculoskeletal conditions, and may gain more patient visits.

AAOS physicians are encouraged to make presentations about orthopaedic topics in their local communities. Civic and community organizations are always looking for interesting speakers to address their members. Among outlets to consider:

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