Some orthopaedists say the Annual Meeting has gotten too big, too gaudy, too glitzy, too commercial, too political. They whine that you can’t learn anything or have a good time because of the large crowds. I say that’s absurd! Besides an excellent location, the important three Es of an annual meeting are Education, Entertaining, and Engaging old friends. There is no reason you can’t do all three simultaneously.


Published 1/1/2009
S. Terry Canale, MD

Don’t miss Las Vegas!

What you do here stays here. What you learn here stays with you forever.

I predict that the 2009 AAOS Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Feb. 25–28, will be the largest ever. I qualify as an expert on the Annual Meeting because I have been to every one for the last 35 years. It’s the greatest orthopaedic show on earth.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could put the “fun” back in the fundamentals of education? How about breathing some “life” into the life-long learning that seems so onerous to some of us?

So, come one, come all to the greatest orthopaedic show on earth. (Join me and my old buddy Elvis, who is in the building. Viva Las Vegas!) Registration is well ahead of last year, which was the largest meeting to date.

What you learn here stays with you forever.
This year, as in the past, the educational experience is extensive. Consider the following options open to you:

  • Symposia on cutting-edge issues in clinical controversies, new orthopaedic surgical techniques, healthcare reform, universal health care, and practice management
  • Instructional courses on clinical topics from adult reconstruction to tumors and trauma; hands-on technique courses to hone surgical skills
  • Scientific podium presentations, posters, e-posters, and exhibits covering a range of research and procedures
  • Practice management information for both residents and practicing orthopaedic surgeons
  • Review courses for Board certification and recertification
  • Electronic skills pavilion with free presentations showcasing current technology products and applications
  • Specialty day, a unique opportunity to focus on the latest in your specialty
  • Technical exhibits featuring the “latest and greatest” in orthopaedic products and services

One new technique to help you sort out the smorgasbord of educational possibilities is the online “CME Wizard.” It helps you identify the topics most relevant to your practice focus and enables you to register quickly for those courses or presentations. The online scheduler provides you with a personal itinerary.

Entertaining and engaging old friends
What you do here stays here
. If you haven’t been to Las Vegas lately, you won’t recognize it. It has outgrown its one-dimensional image of gambling casinos and has developed into a large, multi­faceted city with something for everyone.

The AAOS Annual Meeting hasn’t been held in Las Vegas since 1989. One rumor was that Vegas did not want physician conventions because the doctors didn’t gamble enough. This is only partially true. Vegas was happy to have doctors, but not on the weekend. Back then, a shortage of hotel rooms meant that rooms on the weekends were needed for regular gambling customers. Today, an abundance of new hotel rooms (approximately 50,000) has eliminated this problem.

More good news—as a Vegas cabbie told me—the city can handle crowds “like we aren’t even there.” One of the best things the “new” Las Vegas does is move people (like Disneyworld). You will first notice this in the cab line at the airport: Although the long line may be three or four deep, you never stop walking to your designated cab!

In these times of financial stress with the tourism business down as much as 20 percent, Las Vegas is ecstatic to welcome the AAOS and eager to show us a good time!

If you still have energy after attending educational events and browsing the technical exhibits, spend some time enjoying what Las Vegas has to offer other than gambling. With multiple entertainment choices—including fabulous restaurants, elegant shopping, elaborate stage productions, Broadway shows, sports events, and nearby attractions (see “Champagne Terry’s Top 10 Picks”)—you can certainly entertain and engage both old and new friends.

As the novelist Brian Freeman noted, Las Vegas has to be “new” to succeed—“bulldozing the past, always re-inventing itself, always staying young.” I’m always trying to stay young as well, but unfortunately, I’m so old that what I “do there” would only be “bragging again!”

I’ll see you and all of my old friends “on the strip” on Feb. 25!

Champagne Terry’s Top 10 Picks


  • Cirque du Soliel (O at the Bellagio; KA at MGM Grand; Mystere at Treasure Island, or Love at the Mirage)
  • Cher at Caesar’s Palace
  • Donny & Marie Osmond at Flamingo Las Vegas
  • Barry Manilow at the Hilton
  • Penn & Teller at Rio
  • Jubilee at Bally’s
  • Phantom at the Venetian
  • Blue Man Group at the Venetian
  • Mama Mia at Mandalay Bay
  • Jersey Boys at Palazzo


  • L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (MGM)
  • Sergio’s
  • Antonio’s
  • Craftsteak
  • Rosemary’s Restaurant
  • Geisha Steakhouse
  • The Buffet at Bellagio
  • Village Seafood Buffet
  • Bouchon (Venetian)
  • Spice Market Buffet


  • Hoover Dam and Lake Mead
  • Red Rock Canyon
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area
  • Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
  • Las Vegas Art Museum
  • Lost City Museum
  • Stratosphere Tower
  • First Friday Arts Celebration (Downtown)
  • Fountains of Bellagio
  • Helicopter Tour

(In addition to the galleries of shops at Caesar’s Palace, Bellagio, Wynn)

  • Buffalo Exchange
  • Las Vegas Outlet Center
  • PassionFly Eco-Friendly Portable Art
  • The District at Green Valley Ranch
  • Tower Shops at Stratosphere
  • Four Hands Furniture
  • Chinatown Plaza
  • Broadacres Swap Meet
  • The Arts Factory
  • Art Encounter