Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don’t say it mean!

Recently, the AAOS completed a follow-up of a 10-year-old survey about what the public and patients think about orthopaedists (“Low-touch surgeons in a high-touch world,” AAOS Now, May 2009). I am pleased to announce that, compared to the 1998 survey, the 2008 survey found that people are more aware of what an ortho­paedist is and what he or she does. In 2008, 59 percent of consumers associated “bones/surgery” with orthopaedists, compared to just 46 percent who made that association 10 years ago.

Both surveys also asked about interactive communication skills such as listening. In 2008, patients rated orthopaedists significantly higher in areas such as “spends time answering questions” and “is caring and compassionate” than they did in 1998.

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