“One outstanding aspect of this program is that it recognizes all volunteer activity, both with the Academy, and with other organizations,” said Mark W. Wieting, chief education officer. “So if someone serves as a course director for a course organized by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, or works on a committee of the Massachusetts Orthopaedic Association, those activities are equally credited toward attaining the award.”


Published 12/1/2009
John R. Tongue, MD

AAOS establishes new volunteer Achievement Awards

Active volunteer involvement is at the heart of AAOS activities. Our meetings, courses, educational materials, clinical practice guidelines, and advocacy efforts are just a few of the many activities that depend on participation by volunteers for their success. Volunteers are vital—not only to the AAOS, but also to orthopaedic specialty societies; national, state, and local orthopaedic societies; and the broader medical community.

The AAOS Board of Directors recently established the Achievement Award Program (AAP) to encourage and enhance individual growth of Academy members, and to thank them for their many contributions to education, research, and advocacy in orthopaedics. This new program recognizes participation by AAOS members in Academy programs and elsewhere in orthopaedics. The Council on Education and the Board want to recognize those who are freely giving back and to create an incentive for others to do the same.

Participation is key
Many members are already well on their way to achieving award status. The AAOS database now includes members’ AAOS volunteer activities for the past 5 years, and that information will be used along with information on non-AAOS activities to qualify a member for an award. Members can submit volunteer activities with other organizations—not only for this year, but for the past 5 years.

You may claim one credit per year for your AAOS and non-AAOS volunteer activities in each of the three following areas (maximum of three credits per year if you have volunteered in each of the areas; multiple activities in each area will count for only one credit in that area):

  • Teaching: As a chair, moderator, lab instructor, presenter, coauthor, or discussant in instructional or continuing medical education courses, scientific paper sessions, or symposia sponsored by the AAOS, specialty, state, and regional societies, and other national medical organizations
  • Publications and research: As an author, editor, or reviewer for publications produced by the AAOS, specialty, state, and regional societies, and other national medical organizations; as an unpaid editor, author, or reviewer for a peer-reviewed orthopaedic journal; as a researcher conducting original research for the AAOS, specialty, state, and regional societies,and other national medical organizations
  • Service and advocacy: As a member of any of the following: AAOS, specialty, state, regional, or other national medical organizations’ boards of directors, councils, committees, sub-committees, or project teams, or as a member of the Board of Councilors or Board of Specialty Societies, or as a Leadership Fellow or mentor

The initial Achievement Awards Program will include activities from 2005 through 2009. Non-AAOS activities should be submitted on an annual basis. A reminder to do so will be sent to you each year.

Three levels of awards
The Achievement Awards Program has the following three levels of awards:

  • The Achievement Award recognizes fellows who have attained 10 or more credits.
  • The Senior Achievement Award recognizes fellows who have attained 30 or more credits.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Honor Award will be given to fellows who have attained 60 or more credits, plus letters of support from three members.

As you progress through the levels of recognition, you will be recognized at higher levels for your long-term commitments to orthopaedics. For example, the Senior Achievement Award requires at least 10 years of service to the profession of orthopaedic surgery, while the Lifetime Achievement Honor Award requires at least 20 years of volunteer service.

All Achievement Award recipients will be recognized on the AAOS Web site and named in the Annual Meeting Final Program. On the attainment of each level, you will receive a congratulatory letter from the AAOS president, a certificate, and a ribbon noting your achievement level.

A way to say “Thanks!”
The AAOS and the specialty, state, and regional orthopaedic societies endure and thrive through the dedication of their member volunteers. This program not only honors those who currently volunteer their time and energy to the AAOS and the entire orthopaedic community

but also encourages younger members to become involved in these activities.

To submit your non-AAOS activities, contact Donna Siwek at siwek@aaos.org or Lois Costabile at costabile@aaos.org for the submission form. For more information on the program, visit www.aaos.org/news/whatsnew/achievementawards.asp

John R. Tongue, MD, is a former member of the Council on Education and led the project team that developed the awards program.