AAOS Bulletin - April, 2006

Richard F. Kyle, MD, assumes AAOS presidency

Richard F. Kyle, MD, assumed the presidency of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) on Friday, March 24, 2006, during the Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Richard F. Kyle, MD

A graduate of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Ill., Dr. Kyle is currently chairman of the department of orthopaedic surgery at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. He is also professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Minnesota and medical director of the university’s biomechanics laboratory, specializing in trauma and adult reconstruction orthopaedics.

Dr. Kyle is active in numerous professional organizations and serves on the board of directors for the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, the Midwest Orthopaedic Research Foundation and the Twin Cities Orthopaedic Education Association. He is a founding member and past president of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association and a member of the American Orthopaedic Association, the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Research Society. He has served on many AAOS task forces and committees.

Dr. Kyle has published two books and has authored 17 book chapters and 60 scientific journal articles. He has given more than 300 presentations—both nationally and internationally—on a variety of topics, including fractures of the long bones and major joints, as well as total shoulder, hip and knee replacement

The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Dr. Kyle has served as a visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong, at the Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, Va.), at the Utah School of Medicine (Salt Lake City) and at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (Denver). He is an honorary member of the New Zealand Orthopaedic Society and the Argentine Association of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, and has been named a “Top Doctor” by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine for seven consecutive years.

“I am honored to assume this position, and look forward to working jointly with Academy leadership and orthopaedic specialty societies to further the profession of orthopaedics, enhance patient care and emphasize the continued need for musculoskeletal research,” Dr. Kyle said.

Goals for the year

After Dr. Kyle was introduced as the AAOS new president, he outlined his goals for the year: To unite all aspects of the AAOS to meet the challenges of today; to prevent fragmentation within orthopaedics and encourage partnering with specialty societies; to coordinate advocacy efforts and to expand communication efforts.

Dr. Kyle described the Specialty Society Summit, held in San Francisco in 2004, which was organized to strengthen the dialogue between AAOS and the orthopaedic specialty societies. The two most important principles to come out of that summit, he said, were: “All specialty societies are equal and true partners with the Academy when we work together to educate our members, and there must be partnering in our educational efforts to eliminate duplication and competition between the AAOS and specialty societies.”

Noting that hip specialists need to understand spine problems and how pediatric issues affect the development of arthritis later in life, Dr. Kyle said, “We must continue to educate each other and have interdisciplinary interaction.”

A similar dynamic applies to advocacy efforts as well, said Dr. Kyle. To audience applause, he said: “We are advocating the importance of freedom of practice without fear of frivolous lawsuits, advocating the right to fair and just reimbursement, and advocating access to specialty care for all patients.”

Dr. Kyle pledged to work tirelessly to support the Academy’s advocacy efforts and unify all parts of the orthopaedic advocacy agenda over the next year.

Research agenda

In discussing the efforts of the new Council on Research, Quality Assessment and Technology, Dr. Kyle emphasized the importance of evidence-based medicine. “We must not fall into the trap of the new technology war that might deliver riskier and less effective care for our patients,” he cautioned.

Dr. Kyle noted that research efforts to help the members of our military serving on active duty is an issue “near and dear to my heart.”

“By combining civilian and military efforts [in support of orthopaedic research] we not only help our soldiers but may also help civilians if, God forbid, terrorists again attack our homeland or a natural disaster occurs,” he noted.

Involving patients

Addressing the need for patient education, Dr. Kyle pledged “to establish the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons—along with the orthopaedic specialty societies—as the premier sources of information on musculoskeletal health.

“Our patients,” he said, “can be our strongest advocates. We must emphasize the thousands of dollars that are saved by rapid return to work, reduction of disability, and improved quality of life. This is best done by our patients, who are our No. 1 advocates.”

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