AAOS Bulletin - June, 2006

Fellowship adopts new Standards of Professionalism

By Richard N. Peterson, JD

The ballots are in and the votes have been counted. By an overwhelming majority, AAOS fellows adopted eight resolutions, a proposed amendment to the AAOS Bylaws and new Standards of Professionalism (SOPs) on Research and Academic Responsibilities. This brings the number of SOPs in the AAOS Professional Compliance Program to four.


At the time of the 2006 balloting, the AAOS had 20,586 active, emeritus and inactive fellows eligible to vote. Ballots and information on voting were delivered by fax and mail.

Votes were tallied by AAOS research department staff. All valid online and fax submissions received prior to midnight on May 12 were included. Ballots received by mail by noon on May 17 were also included.

Response statistics

A total of 6,249 valid ballots were received, for a 30 percent response rate. A minimum 20 percent of the fellowship is required for balloting to be legitimate.

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents selected the “all yes” option, while the remainder voted on items individually. No measure received less than a 97 percent approval rate (See Table 1).

Professional Compliance Program

The new SOPs sets mandatory minimum standards of acceptable conduct for all fellows and members in their capacity as researchers, authors or presenters valued for their knowledge and expertise.

Alleged violations of the SOPs may form the basis for a formal grievance filed under the AAOS Professional Compliance Program. Under the bylaws, only fellows and members may file grievances against other fellows and members. In addition, the research or academic matter in question must have occurred on or after May 12, 2006, to be considered by the AAOS Professional Compliance Program. Specific questions about grievances may be sent to either aaosexpertwitness@aaos.org or professionalcompliance@aaos.org.

Additional information about the AAOS Professional Compliance Program, the SOPs, the Committee on Professionalism and the Judiciary Committee is available online.

Table 1




Academy Resolution #1 — Recertification



Academy Resolution #2 — Residency Review Committee



Academy Resolution #3 — FDA; Regulation of Orthopaedic Devices, Biological and Combination Products and Pharmaceuticals.



Association Resolution #4 — Health Care Financing and the Tax Code



Association Resolution #5 — Billing Codes for Evaluation and Management of Physician Services



Association Resolution #6 — Prompt Payment and Uniform Claims



Association Resolution #7 — Physician Practices in the Managed Care Environment



Association Resolution #8 — Medicare Reimbursement; Advocacy; Friend of the Court Briefs



Bylaws Amendment — Modification of the AAOS Resolutions and Bylaws Amendment Process



Standards of Professionalism on Research and Academic Responsibilities



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