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An example of the Muscle Molly materials

AAOS Now

Published 2/1/2008
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Nicholas DiNubile, MD

Enhance your communications with help from AAOS

Ready-to-use materials spread message of musculoskeletal health

Good, strong, positive communication is the cornerstone of any message, whether it is to your patients or the news media. To increase public awareness of what orthopaedists do and to enhance the image of orthopaedics, the Public Relations Oversight Group and the public relations department have developed several exciting ways to share an orthopaedic message and bring it to life. Each month, we will be highlighting materials designed to help you bring the Academy’s message of musculoskeletal health into your practices.

Meet Muscle Molly and Boney Ben
Our message of building strong bones and muscles at an early age is gaining wide media attention. Muscle Molly and Boney Ben are great materials to help you educate kids, parents, and teachers. If you give Molly and Ben a permanent home in your office, they can help to contribute to a friendly environment where younger patients feel comfortable asking questions about musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. They can also be a great conversation starter if you are asked to give a talk or lecture.

The Academy designed Molly and Ben postcards as a tool to bring with you when you are asked to speak at grade and middle schools. Molly plays baseball and Ben is a soccer player. Both their muscles and bones are exposed and clearly labeled, which is an interesting way to help children become familiar with these not-so-common parts of the body. The backs of the postcards are blank so they can be used as appointment reminders. The posters of both Molly and Ben would be great hanging in your office.

As an example of just how effective these delightful characters are, I recently brought the Molly and Ben posters to my son’s grade school. Now, his science teacher is planning on using them as a teaching tool. Muscle Molly and Boney Ben are free to you; just email Julitz@aaos.org and they will be sent to you.

Go west, orthopaedists, go west!
In March 2006, a call for entries went out to artists worldwide, asking those who have ever experienced an orthopaedic condition to submit their work and share their stories for the Academy’s second eMotion Pictures: An Exhibition of Orthopaedics in Art. Both adult artists and children were asked to contribute—and they came through with flying colors.

A similar call went out to my colleagues, asking them to submit artwork that illustrated some aspect of their feelings about the patient-physician partnership or making a difference in the lives of their patients and why they became orthopaedic surgeons.

The response was exquisite—overwhelmingly beautiful and moving.

The eMotion Pictures exhibit will be on display at Moscone West during the Annual Meeting. Do plan on coming by and enjoying the show. While you are there, you can also visit the 75th Anniversary Moving Stories exhibit.

Volunteers tell orthopaedic story
Academy spokespeople are continuing to spread the orthopaedic message through the media. Following is just a sample of the many members who volunteer their time to talk with media representatives each month.

Newsweek featured an interview with Letha Y. Griffin, MD, PhD, on the growing epidemic of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in women, especially those who are involved in high-impact sports. This article was number eight in the top 10 most viewed articles on Newsweek.com and was the second most e-mailed story.

The Associated Press featured Jo A. Hannafin, MD, PhD, in an article on frozen shoulder, which is being called the “curse” of middle-aged women everywhere. This story was picked up by

more than 80 news outlets nationwide.

William B. Stetson, MD, was interviewed by KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, discussing injuries due to yoga that he sees in his practice. This interview was sparked by a recent Time magazine article that featured Edward A. Toriello, MD.

Leon S. Benson, MD, talked to the Washington Post about emergency department on-call issues within orthopaedics, and William M. Strassberg, MD, discussed joint replacement due to osteoarthritis.

I was interviewed by CNN where I discussed several orthopaedic issues for the Medical Minute, and my story on Boomeritis shown on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” made the show’s year-end highlight reel.

Nicholas DiNubile, MD, is chair of the Public Relations Oversight Group. AAOS members who are interested in volunteering as spokespersons for the Academy should contact the public relations department at julitz@aaos.org