Published 12/1/2010
Michael F. Schafer, MD

Enhancing the image of orthopaedic surgeons

One project at a time

How do you create a positive image of your orthopaedic practice in your community? Do you help sponsor a sports team? Participate in community events? Conduct a local playground build, modeled on the annual AAOS builds? Write the occasional “injury prevention tips” column for the local paper or appear on a local radio or television show?

All of these projects help foster a positive image of orthopaedic surgeons on a local level and make an incredible difference. But the Academy knows it has a responsibility as well in this effort. From press releases to public service campaigns to special projects, the AAOS sponsors many external communications endeavors on your behalf. Here are three projects that you can support.

Family Fitness and Fun Park
Join us in San Diego, Calif., on Tuesday, Feb. 15 to help build a Family Fitness and Fun Park in San Diego. The park will be built on the site of a former elementary campus in the La Mesa/Spring Valley School District, just outside San Diego, in conjunction with San Diego Youth Services (SDYS), a nonprofit organization that provides intensive services to more than 9,000 children and their families each year.

SDYS is transforming the campus into a centralized community services location, with facilities and programming for children with and without disabilities, for at-risk youth, for parents, and for senior citizens. The park is open to the public and serves more than 150 children each day.

The Family Fitness and Fun Park will provide children, parents, and grandparents with the opportunity for physical activity together. It will include exercise stations; a safe, accessible playground where all children can play together; and a walking/running track. This is truly a place where three generations of families can get fit and have fun together.

Join fellow orthopaedic surgeons, allied health partners, orthopaedic industry, and San Diego community volunteers in this effort. Find more information and volunteer online at www.aaos.org/fitnessbuild

If you have any questions, contact Kayee Ip, public relations specialist, at (847) 384-4035 or ip@aaos.org

Be a media spokesperson
Do you enjoy speaking with the press? Have you completed a media training course? Help the Academy establish orthopaedic surgeons as the experts in musculoskeletal care by becoming an AAOS spokesperson.

You can focus on the areas you know best as an ‘expert voice’ for national and local press interviews. Sign up online, with your Academy log-in and password.

If you have questions, contact Lauren Pearson at pearson@aaos.org

The dangers of distracted driving
Have you heard about the AAOS Distracted Driving Campaign? Orthopaedic surgeons want to prevent injuries before they happen.

The AAOS and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association have developed a partnership with The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to expand our national public education campaign on the dangers of texting while driving. This campaign is being featured on 330 billboards throughout the country and in selected airports. You can get free patient-education materials (posters, postcards and easel backs) for your use.

Visit www.aaos.org/donttext or www.ota.org/donttext to learn about the dangers of distracted driving and encourage your patients to do the same. Call (800) 626-6726 or e-mail custsrv@aaos.org to order any quantity of OMG! materials today (shipping and handling fees apply).

Michael F. Schafer, MD, chairs the AAOS Communications Cabinet. He can be reached at mschafer@nmff.org

Tip of the Bone
When doing an interview with the media, always remember that nothing is ever off the record. If what you tell a reporter should not be heard or seen around the world, then don’t say it at all—even if the reporter says “this is just between you and me.” Everything is on the record.