December 2000 Bulletin

Councilors focus on communications

The Board of Councilors met in late October and, once again, focused on how orthopaedists can improve the way they communicate with patients. The Councilors looked at this issue, in depth, at last year’s fall meeting and helped the AAOS define the specific challenges that orthopaedists face in their patient communications.

This year, the Councilors provided feedback on AAOS programs and products now being planned on patient communications. They also looked at a variety of new strategies to deal with this highly complex and multifaceted issue, including an AAOS-sponsored "mentoring" program that orthopaedists could use on the local level to help each other.

Councilors also reviewed a new AAOS initiative to help orthopaedists create their own web sites and communicate with their patients and the public about their practices and musculoskeletal care. This initiative is offered as a free member service through the Members Service section of the AAOS web site Thus far, more than 600 members have used the free templates to establish their personal web site.

Councilors also analyzed and developed recommendations on several resolutions from the Fellowship that will be considered at the 2001 AAOS Annual Meeting. The resolutions are on recertification, taxing purchases of health insurance, CPT codes for evaluation and management services and prompt payment of physician claims. If adopted at the Annual Meeting, these resolutions will become official AAOS policy.

In addition, the Councilors provided feedback to Terry Canale, MD, AAOS president and other members of the Board of Directors on a wide variety of topics, including health policy, public relations and continuing medical education.

For the second consecutive year, the Councilors recognized state orthopaedic societies that were instrumental in persuading their states to issue Bone and Joint Decade proclamations. The states recognized at the October meeting were Alaska, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington. To date, 43 states have issued Bone and Joint Decade proclamations.

The 90-plus members of the Board of Councilors serve as advisors to the AAOS Board of Directors and as resources to AAOS committees. They are elected by state orthopaedic societies and also represent Puerto Rico, the U.S. military and Canada.

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