Mexico, Baja California, Cabo San Lucas, View of the marina market


Published 1/1/2010
Peter Pollack

¡Viva Mexico!

AAOS welcomes Mexico as 2010 Guest Nation

AAOS is proud to welcome Mexico as the Guest Nation for the 2010 AAOS Annual Meeting. Not only have the culture, language, and customs of Mexico enriched life in the United States, the relationships among orthopaedic organizations in both countries have enriched the profession.

To recognize the longstanding relationships that the AAOS has with the two major orthopaedic societies in Mexico, further open training paths, and facilitate understanding among orthopaedic surgeons, the Academy has invited Mexico to be this year’s Guest Nation.

“The AAOS has, for many years, had productive professional relationships with both CMOT and AMOT,” said Lynne Dowling, director of the AAOS international department. “The Academy has participated in their annual congresses and conducted several cooperative physician education programs with them. We are quite pleased to welcome Mexico to New Orleans as the 2010 Guest Nation.”

Two societies, one purpose
Physicians in Mexico are well-trained in the craft of orthopaedics, and the country is fortunate to have two large orthopaedic societies with rich and proud histories. Officially chartered in 1946, the Sociedad Mexicana de Ortopedia (SMO) became the Colegio Mexicano de Ortopedia y Traumatología (CMOT) in 2009. The change raised the organization to a new level, enabling more communication and interchange with government authorities, universities, and other public and private institutions.

CMOT has more than 1,300 members in Mexico City. It also publishes the Acta Ortopedica Mexicana, which is the only orthopaedic magazine in Spanish-speaking countries included on the Index Medicus.

The Asociación Mexicana de Ortopedia y Traumatología (AMOT) was founded in 1963 as a way to unite regional orthopaedic societies and address the needs of orthopaedists outside the Mexico City metropolitan area.

AMOT, with nearly 4,000 associate members, is second only to the Sociedade Brasileira de Ortopedia e Traumatologia in Brazil as the largest orthopaedic association in Latin America. AMOT offers biennial fellowships to deserving members to travel to Europe and the United States for additional training.

In 1974, AMOT and CMOT (then SMO) agreed to establish parity between the two organizations and to jointly oversee the Consejo Mexicano de Ortopedia y Traumatología—the agency responsible for orthopaedic certification in Mexico.

Both CMOT and AMOT hold annual scientific meetings. The current president of CMOT is Dr. Eduardo G. Carriedo Rico. AMOT’s current president is Dr. Jaime J. Gutierrez Gomez.

Although Mexican orthopaedists face many of the same challenges as their U.S. counterparts, they are also confronted with several unique to their country. As in the United States, the number of uninsured patients is problematic. Mexican citizens who cannot afford health insurance, however, do not have a government-sponsored safety net similar to Medicare or Medicaid.

The situation is especially pronounced in trauma cases. Mexican families have been known to pull together, selling cars and other property to pay for necessary medical care for an injured relative. In some circumstances, orthopaedists have been able to negotiate with device makers for discounted pricing on devices, but paying for care remains a problem for many Mexican citizens.

Medical institutions in the larger cities are likely to be well-funded and have access to technology such as magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scanning equipment. Rural physicians may have to resort to creative approaches to provide their patients with necessary care.

In some cases, physicians have purchased medical equipment using their personal funds. When the physician begins practicing at another institution, he or she may also take the equipment along to the new position.

Still, the Mexican medical community is proud of its warm and personal approach to the practice of health care. Mexican physicians are well-trained in the practice of orthopaedics, and the country’s lack of economic resources has led its surgeons to find innovative ways to address medical issues. The visitors from this year’s Guest Nation believe they not only have much to learn from their American colleagues but much to teach as well.

About the Guest Nation program
The AAOS Guest Nation Program was inaugurated in 2005 to foster greater recognition and awareness of the contributions made to the practice of orthopaedics by ortho-paedic surgeons from around the globe, and to enhance the robust international flavor and excitement of the AAOS Annual Meeting. Previous Guest Nation honorees have included Argentina, Brazil, Spain, and Thailand.

Check your Annual Meeting program for special events and activities related to Mexico and the Guest Nation program. Be sure to stop at the Guest Nation exhibit and say, “¡Hola, buenos dias!”

Peter Pollack is a staff writer for AAOS Now. He can be reached at