June 2003 Bulletin

AAOS reiterates opposition to CAQs

Peter J. Fowler, MD, president of American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), Christopher D. Harner, MD, chair of the AOSSM ad hoc committee on CAQ, and Irv Bomberger, AOSSM executive director, came to the AAOS Board of Directors meeting on June 7, 2003 to discuss why their organization decided to press forward on the Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in sports medicine. The preceding article summarizes the AOSSM perspective on this issue.

In response, the AAOS Board reiterated why the Academy continues to have concerns about CAQs. Following is the AAOS position on CAQs. This information is presented to AAOS Fellows so that they may stay informed about this important issue.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has an explicit position opposing Certificates of Added Qualification (CAQs) or subspecialty certification in orthopaedic surgery. At the 2000 Annual Meeting, the Fellowship reaffirmed its position that "it shall be the policy of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to oppose the issuance of additional CAQs in orthopaedic surgery." The 2000 position reaffirmed the positions taken by the Academy Fellowship in 1989, 1990, 1994 and 1996.

During the 2000 Annual Meeting, the AAOS Board of Directors and Board of Councilors recommended that this position against issuing additional CAQs in orthopaedic surgery be retained as AAOS policy. The Resolutions Committee considered this testimony and recommended that the Fellowship maintain this as official Academy policy. The Fellowship voted unanimously to adopt the recommendation of the Resolutions Committe–that the Academy continue to oppose the issuance of additional CAQs in orthopaedic surgery.

In addition, the AAOS Board of Councilors at its meeting in April 2001 specifically considered the proposal of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine to establish a subspecialty certification in orthopaedic sports medicine. The Board of Councilors recommended that the AAOS Board of Directors send a strong letter of opposition, which the Board approved and sent in May 2001.


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