AAOS President John J. Callaghan, MD, and Sen. John A. Barrasso, MD. Right, Sarah Demarest, who accepted the award on behalf of Karen Trosset.


Published 7/1/2010
Michael F. Schafer, MD

MORE awards: A win-win for orthopaedics

Journalists spread the word about orthopaedics

At the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC) in Washington, D.C., this past April, the AAOS honored several national and local journalists for their work in writing and producing accurate musculoskeletal health stories. In addition, two very special Advocacy Communications Awards were presented.

MORE Awards
In its fifth year, the Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) Awards help the AAOS engage and nurture relationships with journalists. The MORE Awards recognize excellence in furthering the public understanding of musculoskeletal health and issues and encourage healthy behaviors in the care of bones, joints, and muscles. Winners represent print, broadcast, and online outlets and include health and medical writers, producers, and reporters.

The MORE Awards give the Academy the opportunity to honor and recognize the efforts of journalists who help spread our musculoskeletal message. Because orthopaedics is just one area a healthcare reporter, writer, or producer can cover, the MORE Awards let the media know that orthopaedic surgeons and the Academy notice the accurate musculoskeletal articles and segments they create for the public. In many cases, these journalists form relationships with orthopaedic surgeons and look to them as experts for future stories. In fact, many winning MORE Award reporters wrote stories based on their own orthopaedic experiences.

The MORE Awards provide the AAOS with the opportunity to develop positive relationships with the media; past winners almost always continue writing and producing orthopaedic stories.

The awards also often acknowledge a patient or patients who were an important part of a winning story. This year, two wounded warriors featured in MORE Award winner Terry Sanders’ documentary, Fighting for Life, were recognized.

AAOS President John J. Callaghan, MD, and Sen. John A. Barrasso, MD. Right, Sarah Demarest, who accepted the award on behalf of Karen Trosset.
The story of Army Specialist Crystal Davis is told in the MORE Award-winning film, Fighting for Life.
Courtesy of Fightingforlifethemovie.com
With the flood of information—often inaccurate—available to patients on the Internet, orthopaedics as a specialty needs to differentiate fact from fiction. The MORE Awards honor journalists’ accurate portrayal of orthopaedic advances and procedures. We must continue to view the media as our partner in orthopaedic patient education and continue to foster those relationships.

Special guests Retired Marine Corps Sergeant Abdul Madjid and Retired Army Specialist Crystal Davis both served our country with bravery and dedication. Sgt. Madjid sustained severe burns to the fingers and Specialist Davis had a leg amputated after an improvised explosive device blast. They spoke about how orthopaedic surgeons helped them regain full mobility after their traumatic injuries.

Fighting for Life is an emotional documentary that interweaves three stories of military medicine: the compassionate doctors, nurses, and medics working to save the lives of our wounded soldiers; wounded soldiers determined to survive and heal from their injuries; and medical students at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Md., on their career journey to become military physicians.

Advocacy communications
For the first time, AAOS gave two politicians awards for their commitment to educating the public through the media about healthcare reform. The Advocacy Communications Award was given to Sen. John A. Barrasso, MD, for his appearance on CNN and to Rep. Tom Price, MD, for an MSNBC show. Through exchanges like this, the American people and their members of Congress will better understand the physician’s desire for a system focused on patients and the medical community’s commitment to the wellness of patients.

Tom Price, MD

Call for nominations
Have you recently read or seen a story that accurately depicted orthopaedic surgery, had a great orthopaedic patient success story, or educated the public on how to prevent or treat musculoskeletal injuries? If so, please contact the AAOS media relations department with suggestions or questions at

Nominate reporters, writers, producers, and editors for their top-notch reporting! This is a great opportunity for you to recognize your local media. The deadline for entries is Oct. 29, 2010.

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