Readers question leaders, CDHC, PA articles

I am a member of the next generation of orthopaedists. I have expended a great deal of time, energy, and, frankly, money to reach this point. I have paid particular attention to the way I handle and present myself, listening to the teachings of my professors, mentors, and professional society leaders. My peers and I know the importance of evidence-based learning and practice, how to appropriately judge the rigors of published research, and the definition of professionalism and its relation to medicine and law.

In a recent AAOS educational resources catalogue, one of the offerings was a surgical technique video, and one of the co-authors is known to me. Despite multiple years in private practice and opportunities to resolve the issue, this author has not been certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is not an AAOS fellow. Given the emphasis on certification, and the figurative and literal price to earn this distinction, it is unimaginable to me how such an individual could be awarded an honor like representing the Academy in its educational arm. It forces me to pause and question why I have dedicated so many of my efforts to meet the requirements of my Board and Academy, when clearly one can still achieve professional success and satisfaction by simply fostering personal relationships with the “right” people.

As a young orthopaedist, [I find] it difficult to swallow such direction from leaders when I know that their professional and personal lives have been, and continue to be, improved by the activities discussed [in the Standards of Professionalism on Orthopaedist-Industry Conflicts of Interest]. Already, we are forced to deal with issues of falling reimbursement, lack of emergency call coverage, and patient distrust. The truth is that many of these issues have been brought on and exacerbated by more senior physicians who have historically enjoyed larger paydays and lax regulation. The cumulative effect of leaders telling us to “do as we say, not as we do” is terribly frustrating.

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