Board approves new programs, dues increase
More than $2 million in new member-service programs, reductions in expenses and the first increase in annual fellowship dues in six years were approved by the AAOS Board of Directors in December 1999.
The new initiatives in the budget for FY 2000 include an expanded public education and relations program to promote orthopaedics. This will be conducted by the new Council on Communications and its four committees.
We also will use the power of the Internet to help members reach out to their patients and the public. The AAOS home page will be expanded with a consumer site that will serve the growing public interest in health care information. And, AAOS will offer members free, personalized clinical web site templates to help members reinforce the physician-patient relationship.
We will have proactive involvement on a national scale with the Bone and Joint Decade, a global effort to increase the awareness of the impact of musculoskeletal diseases on society, as well as to place emphasis on research of musculoskeletal diseases.
With all of these new activities and in spite of an effort by the Finance Committee and staff to contain the budget, there was a projected deficit of $1.8 million. To avoid putting the entire burden of the deficit on the shoulders of the membership, the Board of Directors decided to fund half of the shortfall with reserves and the other half with a modest dues increase of $100 annually. The increase will raise the annual fellowship dues in 2000 to $600 from $500, and candidate member dues to $300 from $250. There is no change in the $300 international member dues or $100 associate member dues.
Its been six years since dues were last adjusted. Since then, inflation has eroded the purchasing power of the previous $100 increase. In addition, a survey of other comparable medical and surgical specialty societies shows this increase would still place your AAOS at the median for "dues." (See accompanying table).
I hope you will agree that your Board of Directors has acted with a sense of fiscal responsibility as they attempt to implement the AAOS Strategic Plan and initiate all the activities that you, the membership, have requested.
Robert D. DAmbrosia, MD