BET producer Sharon Carpenter (left) worked with medical student and Miss Black USA Kalilah Allen-Harris (right) during the AAOS Culturally Competent Care Media Tour. Ms. Allen-Harris plans to become an orthopaedic surgeon.


Published 1/1/2008
Nicholas DiNubile, MD

Reaching out to reporters and patients

AAOS expands efforts to promote musculoskeletal health

AAOS media outreach efforts in 2007 ended on a particularly high note. Our first media Webinar, “Sex Matters in Musculoskeletal Health,” was held in December 2007 and is still garnering interest.

As a result of the Webinar, Associated Press reporter Lauran Neergaard interviewed Laura L. Tosi, MD, about what children need to help build healthy bones and how rickets is making a disturbing comeback due to low levels of Vitamin D. Academy President James H. Beaty, MD, who was also interviewed, shared some startling early data showing that a 10 percent deficit in bone mass at the end of adolescence can increase an individual’s later risk of osteoporosis and fractures by as much as 50 percent. The story was picked up by several hundred newspapers, television and radio stations, and online publications around the country.

An interview with Beth E. Shubin Stein, MD, in USA Today focused on frozen shoulder. featured Webinar participant Judith F. Baumhauer, MD, in a story about bunions. Sharon L. Hame, MD, talked with Indianapolis Woman magazine about stress fractures.

Culturally competent care
Interviews with Diversity Board Chair Ramon L. Jimenez, MD, about the AAOS Culturally Competent Care program appeared in several publications. One of those interviews, from the Orange County Register, then landed on the Kaiser Network Web site.

AAOS First Vice President E. Anthony Rankin, MD, also spread the Culturally Competent Care message by participating in a satellite media tour. Dr. Rankin spent more than four hours doing a combination of television and radio interviews, some live and some on tape, which aired across the country. Both doctors stressed that patients—regardless of their cultural background—should receive treatment in a way that respects their cultural and medical needs.

A good’s night sleep, proper stretching, and more
Media interest was high for an orthopaedic surgeon’s perspective on picking the right mattress and pillow. Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, shared his views with a reporter from WebMD and William M. Strassberg, MD, discussed the topic with Real Simple magazine, telling readers they should try and choose mattresses with “musculoskeletal manners.”

Laurel C. Blakemore, MD, was asked to review an article that appeared in the December issue of Highlights, a popular children’s magazine. The article included full-color pictures showing youngsters how to stretch correctly.

John T. Gill, MD, discussed bicycle injuries and safety in USA Today’s Weekend magazine. L. Randall Mohler, MD, spent some time with the Antelope Valley (Calif.) Press, discussing cross-country athletes, especially young girls, who continue to run even through their pain.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch featured tips from Marc E. Rankin, MD, about how to guard against injuries during those impromptu touch football and soccer games during the holidays. I talked with Prevention, SHAPE, and Best Life on an array of musculoskeletal issues.

The Medical Mailbox section of December’s The Saturday Evening Post included a question from a reader about bursitis, which was answered by Steven J. Morgan, MD. WebMD featured Leon S. Benson, MD, and Carol C. Frey, MD, on the toll that big purses and high pointy heels take on the skeletal system.

Making national impact
Just the Bares Bones
would like to share with you how AAOS volunteers crisscrossed the country in 2007 to bring accurate, interesting musculoskeletal health information to the nation (
Fig. 1). As you can see, in just 6 months, articles about musculoskeletal health featuring the AAOS appeared in metropolitan areas in every state—and Canada. I think it is especially exciting to see the large number of red diamonds, which represent 30 to 3,100 musculoskeletal health stories.

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