April 2003 Bulletin

BOD approves research policy and position statement on nursing shortage, agrees to sign amicus brief

The AAOS Board of Directors (BOD), meeting on February 3-4 and 7, 2003 in New Orleans, took the following actions:

Research policy approved.As recommended by the Council on Research, the Board adopted a new policy on collaboration with external research entities. The AAOS Policy on External Research Projects was developed to provide a more formal mechanism for reviewing requests for endorsement, funding, staff assistance and other resources from the Academy to outside organizations and individuals pursuing external research studies, conferences and other research-related activities. The approved policy states:

"As an advocate for musculoskeletal research, research funding and orthopaedic clinician scientists, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) takes an interest in a variety of research-related activities and issues through the Council of Research and Scientific Affairs, the Council on Academic Affairs, the Washington Office, and its close association with the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF).

"Requests from external organizations or individuals for AAOS support or collaboration on research projects should be directed to the chairman of the Council on Research and Scientific Affairs and/or the director of the Department of Research and Scientific Affairs. The Council on Research and Scientific Affairs will review each request and provide a recommendation to the Board, as appropriate, through its consent and action agendas.

"The Council on Research and Scientific Affairs will maintain a set of criteria by which external requests can be objectively evaluated by the Council or an ad hoc project team convened at the request of the Research and Scientific Affairs Council chairman.

"While AAOS supports and encourages research, it does not generally endorse individual research proposals to external funding agencies."

Legal brief. The BOD agreed that the AAOS should sign onto an amicus curiae legal brief to the U.S Supreme Court regarding The University of Michigan v. Grutter. This brief, coordinated and developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), focuses on the possible impact of a Supreme Court decision on health care professions and services in the United States. This decision is an outgrowth of the Board’s commitment to support diversity within the orthopaedic profession and our organization. This is not about supporting quotas, but rather supports a consideration of race and ethnicity among many factors for medical school admission. The AAOS has long supported programs and initiatives to provide high quality, culturally competent, safe and cost-effective musculoskeletal care for all patients.

The AAMC brief does not specifically review the admission policies of the University of Michigan Law School, but rather urges the Supreme Court to consider the decision’s possible impact on health care in the United States. It supports society’s critical need to graduate competent minority physicians and for heath professionals to provide culturally competent care. The AAOS joined 20 other groups in signing the AAMC brief, including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians – ASIM, the National Hispanic Medical Association, American Medical Student Association and the American Public Health Association.

The AAMC brief was submitted to the U.S Supreme Court on February 18, 2003. It can be viewed in its entirety on the AAOS Web site at http://www.aaos.org/ wordhtml/amicus.pdf.

Clinician Scientist Traveling Fellowships. The BOD approved the selections of the first recipients of the new Clinician Scientist Traveling Fellowships, as recommended by the Council on Academic Affairs, Clinical Scientist Programs Committee. These fellowships, which are jointly supported by the AAOS and Orthopaedic Research Foundation (OREF), were created to encourage clinical scientists early in their careers to undertake research activities by providing learning opportunities and a limited amount of financial support.

The clinician scientists are paired with seasoned mentor(s) of their choice for the purpose of acquiring guidance and collaboration while visiting the mentor’s institution. Envisioned as an Academy Candidate Member or Active Fellow, the fellowship recipient may choose up to four mentors, visiting each for a minimum of one week during the allotted time period. The first fellowships offer an award of $10,000 to each recipient and will take place from July 2003 to June 2004. First-year fellows are:

Finance Committee recommendation. The BOD approved a Finance Committee recommendation that AAOS provide resident members with free subscriptions to the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) and Orthopaedic Knowledge Online (OKO). Industry grants will be sought to help underwrite the cost of this member benefit.

Council on Communications. Upon recommendation of the Committee on Committees, the BOD approved a plan for reorganizing the Council on Communications. Under the plan, a Membership Communications Committee will be established to provide stronger volunteer oversight for the various publications provided to Academy members, including the Bulletin, AAOS Report, Headline News and Academy News. In addition, a revamped Bulletin advisory board will be established and oversight for the bimonthly magazine transferred to the Council on Communications. Finally, the Injury Prevention Committee will be sunset and its charges divided and shifted to the Patient Education Committee and the Public Education and Media Relations Committee.

Retiring board members recognized. Seven individuals retiring from the BOD or Councils were recognized for their service, including Peter C. Amadio, MD; S. Terry Canale, MD; Stephan P. England, MD, MPH; Lowry Jones, Jr., MD; Alan H. Morris, MD; Andrew J. Weiland, MD and James N. Weinstein, DO. Also recognized for his service to AAOS was Executive Vice President William W. Tipton, Jr., MD, who will transition later this year to his new role as Director of Medical Affairs.

Position statement on nursing shortage approved. Upon the recommendation of the Council on Health Policy and Practice, the Board approved a Position Statement on the "Shortage of Nursing Professionals." The statement notes that there is a growing crisis in the delivery of nursing care in this nation. The supply of nurses is decreasing while the demand is increasing. Approximately 80 to 85 percent of hospitals have reported a shortage of nurses and nationwide there is a 10 to 12 percent vacancy rate for nurses in health care facilities.

The statement says, in part, that "The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons support the efforts of nursing organizations to obtain federal and state initiatives that would ensure quality patient care and safety by encouraging more individuals to join the nursing professions and by maintaining the supply of existing nurse. These initiatives could include loan forgiveness and scholarship programs for individuals in nursing schools, efforts to education young people about the nursing profession, expansion of nursing schools and the amount of nursing facility, and finally, legislation regulating the amount of mandatory overtime for nurses and appropriate staffing ratios for healthcare facilities."

The statement in its entirety can be found on the AAOS Web site at: http://www.aaos.org/wordhtml/papers/position/1158.htm or it can be requested through the Fax-on-Demand system:

Request document 1158.

Canadian members. The BOD approved a proposal that will exempt Fellows in Canada from the upcoming dues increase, as they do not benefit from AAOS advocacy efforts.

Thank you to "Legacy of Heroes" sponsors. The BOD presented recognition plaques to representatives of the following partners in industry who have made contributions to the "Legacy of Heroes" Project, which recognizes the role of orthopaedic surgeons in World War II:

Clinician Scientist Development Program. The Clinical Scientist Programs Committee of the Council on Academic Affairs proposed a new Clinician Scientist Development Program that will provide prospective clinician scientists (PGY 3-4) with an intensive orientation to orthopaedic research. The program will be held in conjunction with the American Orthopaedic Association Resident Leadership Conference.

The committee presented recommendations for the first group of program participants and the BOD approved the nominations. Participants in the first Clinician Scientist Development program are: Wilbur Chang, MD, PhD, University of Maryland; Michael W. Cluck, MD, PhD, LAC/University of Southern California Medical Center; Cristin M. Ferguson, MD, University of Rochester; Steven H. Goldberg, MD, Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s; Kathleen A. Hogan, MD, Medical University of South Carolina; Paul S. Issack, MD, PhD, Hospital for Joint Diseases; Alfred C. Kuo, MD, PhD, University of California Davis; Hue H. Luu, MD, University of Chicago; Kornelis A. Poelstra, MD, PhD, University of Virginia; Eric M. Santos, MD, PhD, University of Alabama; and Klane K. White, MD, University of California/ San Diego.

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