October 2003 Bulletin

Board approves advisory statement on authoring digital publications, ratifies committee appointments, accepts membership changes

The Boards of Directors (BOD) of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons met September 12–13 in Rosemont, Ill., and took the following actions:

Committee appointments approved. Upon recommendation of the Committee on Committees, the following appointments were approved: Jason Calhoun, MD, as chair of the Infections Committee; Mary O’Connor, MD, as chair of the Women’s Health Issues Committee and Evan Flatow, MD, as chair of the Electronic Media Committee. Reappointments included James Hamilton, MD, as chair of the Academic Business and Practice Management Committee; Paul Tornetta, MD, as chair of the Evaluation Committee; Elton Strauss, MD, as chair of the Aging Committee and Jeanne DelSignore, MD, as chair of the Ethics Committee. In addition, all members of the 2003 Class of Leadership Fellows Program but one were assigned to serve either on a committee as a member or an ex-officio member.

From left, James H. Herndon, MD, AAOS President, E. Anthony Rankin, MD, AAOS Secretary and Richard Peterson, JD, AAOS General Counsel.

2004–2005 Class of Leadership Fellows approved. Upon recommendation of the Leadership Fellows Program Oversight Project Team, the following individuals were approved as the 2004-2005 Class of Leadership Fellows: Albert J. Aboulafia, MD; Laurel C. Blakemore, MD; Kevin Bozic, MD; John M. Flynn, MD; Jeffrey A. Guy, MD; Steven L. Haddad, MD; Valerae O. Lewis, MD; David C. Markel, MD; William Robert Martin III, MD; Steven J. Morgan, MD; Charles L. Nelson, MD; William Kenneth Payne III, MD; Robert Lor Randall, MD; Ellen M. Raney, MD and Richard A. Schaefer, MD.

Membership changes accepted. Upon recommendation of the Membership Committee, the BOD approved the applications of 639 Active Fellows and two Associate Members. Also accepted were recommendations for a streamlined membership application process and for establishment of four new membership categories—Associate Member–Orthopaedic, Associate Member–Osteopathic, Associate Resident Member–Osteopathic and Associate Candidate Member– Osteopathic. These recommendations require amendments to the bylaws of the American Association of Orthopaedic Association, which will come before the membership for approval at the 2004 Annual Meeting.

Advisory statements approved. The BOD approved a new advisory statement on “Recognition for Authoring and Editing Digital Publications.” In that statement, the AAOS says it believes that “Authors and editors of digital publications in many instances deserve the same professional and academic recognition as authors and editors of print publications. Their authoring and editing work on digital publications should be included in their curricula vitae, and the merits of this work should be evaluated by the same standards as those applied to print publications and considered in decisions on promotion. The AAOS also believes that users of the Academy’s digital publications should expect them to be as informative, clinically relevant, and enduring as the AAOS’s print publications. These digital publications can and should be cited by authors just as print publications are cited.

The BOD also approved a revised advisory statement on “Commitment to Excellence: Maintaining Skills and Knowledge through Lifelong Learning.” In this statement, the AAOS says it believes that “A lifelong commitment to continuing education is essential for its Fellows, if we as professionals are to fulfill our commitment to provide safe, high-quality health care. The choice of educational methods or experience is the responsibility of the individual Fellow. The AAOS places no specific requirements on its Fellows in terms of areas or types of instruction, minimum number of hours of education during a particular time period, or preferred providers of educational programs. However, the AAOS believes that each orthopaedist must develop his or her approach to knowledge maintenance in an organized and explicit manner to assure that it addresses content in all areas in which care is provided. Moreover, specific areas of study identified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) as essential to maintaining physician competence should be used as an overall plan of study.

Orthopaedic expert witness testimony program discussed, revised advisory statement approved. The BOD discussed at length the results of the recent member survey regarding the new AAOS orthopaedic expert witness program. The survey, which had an 18.6 percent response rate (3,556 respondents), showed that members were comfortable with the nine-part program approved in June However, there was mixed feedback on the need for an expert testimony disciplinary program, so the BOD approved further research to clarify member opinion on this matter. This matter has now been referred to the Professional Liability Committee for continued study and a further survey of members.

In a related matter, the BOD approved an updated version of the Advisory Statement on “Orthopaedic Medical Testimony,” drafted by the Professional Liability Committee. The statement reiterates that the AAOS believes that, consistent with the Code of Medical Ethics and Professionalism and to limit uninformed and possibly misleading testimony, individuals providing orthopaedic medical testimony should be qualified for their role and should follow a clear and consistent set of ethical guidelines. The statement can be found in its entirety online.

Funding for ACGME Residency Review Committee approved. The BOD approved a three-year pledge for funding in the amount of $15,000 for the Residency Review Committee.


In addition to the actions described above, the BOD also heard a wide-ranging series of presentations by several senior staff members on the impact of competition on core AAOS areas. Changes in the health care environment have brought increasing competition in key AAOS interest areas. That competition has affected participation in CME activities as well as established revenue streams that support the work and member services of the AAOS. It was agreed that AAOS would prepare a Request For Proposal for an outside firm to prepare a competitive analysis.

A number of our members have expressed concern about actions being taken to limit the growth of specialty hospitals in the U.S. The BOD had an extensive conversation on whether AAOS should take a position this issue. The consensus was that more information was needed and the Council on Health Policy and Practice was asked to examine this topic in greater depth and come back with a recommendation to the BOD

The Council on Communications presented an in-depth report on “Volunteerism and the Future of the AAOS.” The Board’s interest in volunteerism and membership was stimulated by concerns coming out of the AAOS in 2005 planning initiative. Specifically, it found that volunteers will have less free time in the future and will become less willing to commit to participate in the many volunteer leadership and educational roles that make the Academy strong. To retain and build membership, AAOS benefits need to be understood and accessible if members are to realize the full potential of belonging to the Academy. Volunteers, in particular, need to understand the value of participating—not only for the good of the organization, but also for themselves. It is also important to engage members in volunteer roles and promote their long-term commitment to participation in the AAOS. The Communications Council made a number of recommendations including the following:

The plan was referred to the Horizontal Integration Team, which includes the chairs of all AAOS councils, to prioritize and implement the various strategic initiatives proposed in the plan.

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