Annual Meeting chair strives for “can’t miss” conference
By Kathleen Misovic
|Colin F. Moseley, MD, wants the AAOS Annual Meeting to be an event that no orthopaedic surgeon would dream of missing. As the Annual Meeting chair for 2005, he’s doing everything in his power to make that vision a reality.
“Our driving force is to create an Annual Meeting that AAOS members can’t do without to keep up-to-date and at the top of their field,” said Dr. Moseley, who hasn’t missed an Annual Meeting in many years. “We want surgeons to consider it not only a top-notch experience, but obligatory.”
Colin F. Moseley, MD
The planning committee has strengthened the Annual Meeting by ensuring that it offers attendees opportunities that the Internet and other educational venues cannot: the chance to interact with experts, obtain hands-on training and become up-to-date on the newest surgery techniques, Dr. Moseley said.
As Annual Meeting chair, Dr. Moseley’s job is to bring together the committees that serve various functions for the meeting: the Exhibits Committee, the Central Program Committee and the Instructional Course Committee. He comes to his new position after serving as a member of the Central Program Committee for five years and as the committee’s chair for the 2003 Annual Meeting.
Dr. Moseley understands what’s at stake in planning the meeting. “The Annual Meeting is a huge enterprise, the crown jewel educational event of the Academy’s year,” he said. “It is also a major revenue source for the Academy and supports many of our important activities.”
Wrestling for compromise
Industry sponsors are important to the meeting because they provide necessary support. “We depend more and more on industry to underwrite portions of the meeting. They welcome the opportunity to make orthopaedic surgeons aware of their names and products and sponsor a number of programs and give-aways, such as tote bags and our program book,” Moseley said.
With industry so vital, Moseley said it is especially important that the Academy maintain its focus on its educational mandate.
“There’s a natural tendency to try to make industry happy and modify the meeting to its needs, but we don’t want to compromise the education we offer,” Dr. Moseley said. “Wresting with these two aspects of the meeting is challenging and sometimes accommodations have to be made.”
However, Dr. Moseley said the meeting couldn’t operate without industry’s assistance. “They provide tremendous educational service and help AAOS members keep up with new techniques and new devices,” he said.
Planning at his own risk
Another responsibility facing Dr. Moseley and the Annual Meeting Committee is determining how many changes to make each year. “Simple things—like changing the day of the week an event will be held—can have ramifications we don’t anticipate,” Dr. Moseley said.
The results of these changes are especially hard to predict when they involve future meeting plans. As Annual Meeting Chair, Dr. Moseley is not only planning the 2005 meeting but the next four meetings as well. The committee recently changed the location of the 2009 meeting from Washington, D.C., to Las Vegas.
Keeping up with trends and technology is another time-consuming job. “We’re constantly thinking of the future in designing the meeting so it provides our members with access to the latest information. And we’re constantly reassessing our teaching methods to make the best use of the latest technology,” Dr. Moseley said.
New in 2005
One way the 2005 Annual Meeting will meet members’ needs more effectively is by providing them with more specialized information. “We are becoming better integrated with the subspecialty societies, such as the hand surgeons [American Society for Surgery of the Hand],” Dr. Moseley said.
The Central Program Committee has also been restructured, so the specialty societies have more control over the papers and symposia chosen for the meeting. A symposium is a series of lectures given by a faculty of four or five people that includes a question-and-answer session and other interaction with the symposium participants.
“People have been gravitating more and more toward symposia,” Dr. Moseley said. “The information in the symposia has been filtered and integrated, which provides more information per minute and adds to its value.”
Despite all the work involved, Dr. Moseley looks forward to serving as the Annual Meeting chair. What he enjoys most is having influence over what he calls “one of he best educational meetings in the world.”
“I think the AAOS Annual Meeting has been a prime educational event for surgeons for years, and I enjoy the challenge of keeping it that way,” he said.