AAOS Bulletin - February, 2006

Boards approve advisory statements, academic SOPs; appoint project teams

By Susan A. Nowicki, APR

The Boards of Directors of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons met in Chicago, Dec. 1 to 3. They participated in a workshop on communications; held a strategic discussion on “Gainsharing”; approved the 2006 budget and a new volunteer structure for the AAOS, and heard updates on several ongoing projects. The Board also approved the 2006 Kappa Delta and Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Clinical Research Awards.

Communications Workshop

The Board held a full-day workshop on communications before the Board meeting. Discussions focused on both external and member communications activities. AAOS First Vice President Richard F. Kyle, MD, led the workshop, saying that, “Communications is mission-critical to accomplishing the AAOS’s goals.”

Workshop recommendations included conducting an in-depth review of current AAOS internal and external communications efforts and a spring Board workshop on communications. Two project teams will conduct the evaluation and plan the spring workshop. The Internal Communications Project Team includes Andrew N. Pollak, MD, and Matthew S. Shapiro, MD, co-chairs; Gordon M. Aamoth, MD; William P. Cooney, MD; Alan M. Levine, MD; E. Anthony Rankin, MD; Andrew H. Schmidt, MD; Kristy L. Weber, MD; and staff liaisons Susan A. Nowicki, APR, and Marilyn Fox, PhD. The External Communications Project Team includes Dwight W. Burney, MD, and Joseph C. McCarthy, MD, co-chairs; Leslie Altick; Frances A. Farley, MD; Frank B. Kelly, MD; John M. Purvis, MD; John R. Tongue, MD; and staff liaison Sandra Gordon.


The Board held a two-hour strategic session on issues surrounding gainsharing. Presentations included a review of legislative activities, comments by the Ethics Committee, and personal experiences of members. Read summaries of these presentations online.

Budget approved

The Board approved the Finance Committee’s recommended 2006 operating budget, which includes a dues increase for International Members (from $300 to $350 annually). The dues increase, the first since 1998, is needed to cover the costs of printing and international mailing of the Journal of the AAOS.

AAOS in 2010

Upon recommendation of the AAOS in 2010 Project Team, the Board approved a revised volunteer structure for the AAOS. This new structure streamlines the number of councils and committees to enhance the effectiveness of AAOS programmatic entities. For a review of the new structure, see the “Across the President’s Desk.”

SOPs on Research and Academic Responsibilities

Upon recommendation of the Committee on Professionalism, the Board recommended adoption of a new SOPs on Research and Academic Responsibilities. The proposed SOPs had been previously reviewed and approved by the Board of Councilors (BOC) and the Ethics Committee. It will be discussed at the 2006 AAOS Annual Meeting during the Bylaws Committee Open Hearing on Thursday, March 23, at 8 a.m., and during the AAOS Business Meetings on Friday, March 24 at 10 a.m. AAOS members will vote on adopting this SOPs after the Annual Meeting. To learn more about the SOPs, see the related article.

Evidence-based treatment guidelines

Upon recommendation of the Council on Research and Scientific Affairs, the Board approved a detailed business plan to develop evidence-based treatment guidelines, performance measures and utilization review guidelines. A major component of the plan involves training a cadre of orthopaedic surgeons in evidence analysis.

Workforce Issues

Upon the recommendation of the Workforce Issues Project Team, the Board approved a proposal to hold a Workforce Symposium to determine how best the AAOS can monitor the orthopaedic workforce on an ongoing basis. The symposium will be held in early May immediately following National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference.

Reconfiguration of COMSS

Upon the recommendation of the Reconfiguration of COMSS Project Team, led by Mark Gebhardt, MD, the Board approved a plan to restructure the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (COMSS). This action is aimed at improving orthopaedic unity. Under the plan, COMSS will be renamed the Board of Specialty Societies (BOS [COMSS]). This action will require an Academy bylaws amendment, which will be submitted to the fellowship for a vote after the 2007 Annual Meeting. In addition, the BOS (COMSS) officers will continue to sit on the AAOS Board of Directors to represent the activities and concerns of specialty societies so that the activities of the BOS (COMSS) are more directly integrated into AAOS strategic areas.

PAC Report

David A. Halsey, MD, chair of the Council on Health Policy, reported that the Political Action Committee (PAC) of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons had a record-setting year in fundraising. Through October, the PAC received $1,190,219 in contributions from 2,511 contributors; the average contribution was $474.

Through the same time period, the PAC made $372,683 in contributions to 160 House and Senate races. Due to the two-year election cycle, the bulk of PAC contributions will be made during 2006.

Patient/Physician Communication

Wendy Levinson, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine of the University of Toronto, provided an update on her physician/patient communication research projects (see the December 2004 Bulletin). Dr. Levinson is focused on cultural competency and the use of standardized approaches to teach communications skills in disclosing medical errors. Dr. Weinstein appointed a project team—Dr. Farley, chair; Joshua J. Jacobs, MD, and James Weinstein, DO—to engage in ongoing dialogue with Dr. Levinson on these issues.

Medical Liability Reform Campaign

Dr. Weinstein reported on the launch of DMLR’s Phase II campaign. The national rollout included a new Web site, three radio media tours, a broadcast e-mail and a mailing to 19,000 patients.

Katrina Project Team

At the recommendation of the Katrina Project Team, chaired by Dr. Shapiro, the Board approved the following actions: 1) donate $50,000 to the American Red Cross for Katrina disaster relief; 2) offer 2006 dues waiver to fellows adversely affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; 3) offer $500 scholarships to fellows from the ravaged communities to attend the 2006 Annual Meeting and, 4) develop an Annual Meeting symposium on disaster planning.

AAOS Chief Executive Officer Karen L. Hackett, CAE, FACHE (left) and AAOS President Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, present Red Cross volunteer Judith Ostronic, national chair, biomedical services, with a check for $50,000 for hurricane relief efforts.

Captive insurance company

As the result of a BOC advisory opinion requesting the AAOS to review methods for dealing with the rising cost of medical liability insurance, the Professional Liability Committee formed a project team to explore whether it was appropriate for the AAOS to develop a risk retention group—a liability insurance company owned by its members. After analyzing results from a survey of orthopaedists, as well as the costs and risks involved in such a program, the project team recommended against such a move.

Educational effectiveness

Upon recommendation of the Council on Education’s Needs Assessment Project Team, the board approved creation of a CME Board Project Team charged with developing recommendations for ensuring how AAOS can remain the premier provider of CME for orthopaedic surgeons. Dr. Levine was appointed chair, with project team members Edward D. Akelman, MD; Stephan A. Albanese, MD; Robert W. Bucholtz, MD; John J. Callaghan, MD; and Drs. McCarthy and Shapiro. Also invited to serve were representatives from BOS (COMSS) and BOC.

Technology assessment

A recent member survey showed that 98 percent of respondents thought AAOS should take a position on new technology. In response, the Board created a Technology Assessment Project Team to determine the role of AAOS in a new technology assessment initiative. Dr. Jacobs will serve as chair, with project team members Scott D. Boden, MD; John S. Kirkpatrick, MD; David A. Wong, MD; James S. Breivis, MD; Michael J. Goldberg, MD, and Drs. Aamoth, Burney, McCarthy and Weber. Kurt P. Spindler, MD, (American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine) and a yet-to-be-named representative from the Orthopaedic Trauma Association will also serve.

Clinical research awards

Upon recommendation of the Council on Research, the Board approved the 2006 Kappa Delta (KD) and OREF Clinical Research Awards. Award recipients include: Ranjan Gupta, MD (KD Young Investigator); Kristy L. Weber, MD, Michele Doiucet, MS, and Scott Kominsky, MD (KD Elizabeth Winston Lanier Award); Tong-Chuan He, MD, PhD, and Rex C. Haydon, MD, PhD (KD Ann Doner Vaughan Award) and Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA; Patricia Katz, PhD; Johnathan Showstack, PhD; James Naessens, MPH; Harry E. Rubash, MD; Michael D. Ries, MD; and Daniel J. Berry, MD (OREF Clinical Research Award).

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