Celebrate the Bone & Joint Decade, Oct. 12-20, with programs and materials from the AAOS and the USBJD
“Starting out as an orthopaedic surgeon, I never thought of myself as a public speaker. But I have found myself in front of groups of 300 people talking about preventing and treating musculoskeletal conditions. I think this volunteer work is very important,” says Kimberly J. Templeton, MD, who chairs both the U.S. Bone & Joint Decade (USBJD) Public Education Committee and the Academy’s USBJD Committee.
Dr. Templeton—and hundreds of her colleagues across the United States—will be doing a lot of talking in October, as part of National Action Week, Oct. 12-20. They may also be participating in health fairs, giving tours of their orthopaedic offices, leading workshops, and sponsoring sporting events.
Dr. Templeton encourages AAOS fellows to get involved in the celebrations. “As orthopaedic surgeons, we can make a real difference in the places where we practice. Whether you are starting a new practice or are trying to ‘give back’ to the community you have been a part of for many years, the USBJD Public Education Committee has all the resources you need—from PowerPoint presentations to brochures and other educational materials.”
One of the most popular programs, Fit to a T, focuses on osteoporosis (see story on next page). Other ideas for National Action Week include the following:
- Bone strengthening exercise workouts
- “Lunch and Learn” presentations on musculoskeletal issues
- Personalized tours of your facilities
- Health fairs at local shopping centers
- Sporting events and charity races
- Dance competitions
- Free wellness seminars
- Lectures on ergonomics
For more ideas, visit the USBJD Web site (www.usbjd.org) and download the Decade’s “National Action Week” Tool Kit. Depending on your practice focus, consider building your activities around one of the worldwide commemorative days—World Arthritis Day (Oct. 12), World Spine Day (Oct. 16), World Trauma Day (Oct. 17), or World Osteoporosis Day (Oct. 20).
Midpoint “Decade” Accomplishments
“National Action Week,” sponsored by the Bone and Joint Decade, is held worldwide every year, Oct. 12-20. The USBJD is part of this global, multidisciplinary initiative targeting the care of people with musculoskeletal conditions—bone and joint disorders. Its focus is on improving quality of life as well as advancing the understanding and treatment of these conditions through research, prevention, and education.
“We are at the halfway point in the decade that runs from 2002 to 2011,” says Toby King, executive director of the USBJD, “but our task is to lay the foundation for an ongoing, sustained effort that extends beyond the decade.” The following initiatives will help do just that.
A comprehensive reference book, Musculoskeletal Conditions in the United States, has been developed and published. Packed with data on prevalence figures, it has been an important resource for researchers developing grant applications and for advocates of increased funding for musculoskeletal conditions. It is being updated this year and will be released in the fall.
The goal of Project 100 is to increase the training that all medical students receive in musculoskeletal medicine at the 125 U.S. medical schools. The musculoskeletal questions on the Step 2 exam have been updated by the National Board of Medical Examiners. Expected to drive coursework in all 4 years of medical school, the Step 2 exam is designed for students who have completed their third year, but may also be used to test the knowledge of those in required clerkships and students who have recently taken a musculoskeletal-related rotation, possibly even residents.
AAOS Now recently reported on the third important initiative, Young Investigators, which aims to increase the number of young clinical investigators in the research pipeline. This program offers workshops in grant-writing skills, led by experienced researchers who have been successful in securing funding for their work. Participants are mentored by faculty who continue to work with them until their projects are funded. To date, more than 25 percent of the participants have become funded.