AAOS Mandatory Disclosure Policy
Governance Groups (Except Board of Directors), Continuing Medical Education Contributors, Senior Management Team Members, and Others
In order to promote transparency and confidence in the educational programs and in the decisions of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (hereinafter collectively referred to as “AAOS”), the AAOS Board of Directors has adopted this mandatory disclosure policy.
The actions and expressions of Fellows or Members providing education of the highest quality or in shaping AAOS policy must be as free of outside influence as possible and any relevant potentially conflicting interests or commercial relationships must be disclosed. Because the AAOS depends upon voluntary service by Fellows and Members to conduct its educational programs and achieve its organizational goals, this disclosure policy has been designed to be realistic and workable.
The AAOS does not view the existence of these interests or relationships as necessarily implying bias or decreasing the value of your participation in the AAOS.
Who Must Disclose
Each participant in the AAOS CME program or author of enduring materials, member of the AAOS Board of Directors, Board of Councilors, Board of Specialty Societies, Councils, Cabinets, Committees, Project Teams or other official AAOS groups (collectively “AAOS governance groups”), editors-in-chief and editorial boards and AAOS guideline development workgroups has the obligation to disclose all potentially conflicting interests. Each participant in the AAOS CME program or author of enduring materials, AAOS governance groups, editors-in-chief and editorial boards and AAOS guideline development workgroups must disclose relevant activities or relationships through the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program.
Responsibility of the Individual Who Discloses
Using a uniform form approved by the AAOS Board of Directors, participants are responsible for providing information to the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program regarding the nature of their relationships with commercial entities relating to orthopaedics. Participants are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their information. In addition, participants have an obligation to review and update their personal information in the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program at least semiannually (usually April and October). It is strongly recommended that participants note any changes to the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program as soon as possible after they occur. All orthopaedic surgeons are encouraged to participate in the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program.
Consequences for Failing to Disclose
A failure of a required participant to participate in the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program will result in the participant being asked not to participate in the AAOS CME program, the AAOS governance group, as editor-in-chief or on an editorial board and AAOS guideline development workgroups. The most current version of the AAOS Policy for a Fellow or Member Who Fails to Disclose Conflicts of Interest When Required shall govern all actions taken under this provision.
Public Disclosure of AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program Information
The information in the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program shall be available to the public and to other AAOS Fellows and Members. In addition, a list of all participants in the AAOS CME program, AAOS governance group or AAOS guideline development workgroup, along with their disclosures, will be included in all meeting materials.
Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interests at AAOS Governance Meetings
As indicated above, a list of all participants in the AAOS governance group, along with their current disclosures, will be included in all meeting materials.
Participants in AAOS governance groups (except for the Board of Councilors and Board of Specialty Societies) have an obligation to indicate any potential conflicts they may have during discussions affecting their personal interests during the meeting of the AAOS governance group. At each meeting of the AAOS governance group, members of the group will be reminded that full disclosure must be made of any potential conflict of interest when a matter involving that interest is discussed.
The chair of the governance group shall also have the prerogative of requesting a participant to provide further information or an explanation if the chair identifies a potential conflict of interest regarding that participant. The chair shall be guided by the most current version of the Protocol for the President to Use in Handling Potential Conflict of Interest Issues Before the AAOS Board of Directors. Based on the information provided in the AAOS Orthopaedic Disclosure Program and/or upon a further review, the chair of the AAOS governance group may determine that the participant shall:
- Disclose the potential conflict and continue to participate fully in the AAOS governance group’s discussions and vote; [“Disclosure Option”]
- Disclose the potential conflict, address any questions other members of the group have on the subject, then leave the room and not participate in further discussion and vote [“Recusal from Vote option”] or
- Depart from the room until the matter has been fully discussed and acted upon. [“Recusal from Discussion and Vote option”].
If one of these actions is taken, it should be reflected in the minutes of the AAOS governance group’s meeting.
adopted: February 2007
revised: December 2009
revised: February 2012
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