The Board of Specialty Societies (BOS) brings together the leaders of musculoskeletal societies to address issues of mutual concern and promotes unity and collaboration between the specialty societies and the AAOS.
AAOS Now: What benefits do the individual specialty societies provide to their members?
Dr. Anglen: The societies are truly the professional “homes” for orthopaedic specialists, and many orthopaedic surgeons identify with their specialty society more than any other professional organization. Although each society is slightly different, most offer educational programming, advocacy, leadership opportunities, and camaraderie.
Educational initiatives often include resident education and recruitment, mentoring programs, job fairs, collaboration opportunities, networking, and practice management education such as specialty coding seminars. Many societies publish specialty publications—often in association with the AAOS—that provide teaching and authorship opportunities. Specialty societies also provide members with various forums for discussion of new techniques, new technologies, and political issues, and for social activities.
AAOS Now: How does the BOS nurture cohesiveness and unity among the different specialty societies? What roles do the various BOS committees play?
Dr. Anglen: The BOS encourages interaction among society leaders with similar concerns by providing a forum and opportunities for them to come together. The recent structural reorganization of the BOS, led by James P. Tasto, MD; William J. Robb III, MD; M. Bradford Henley, MD, and others, created committees that enable specialty society leaders in areas such as education, health policy, and research to work together for common goals and to share insights and best practices.
AAOS Now: Why is it important to build and maintain this unity? What are the broader implications?
Dr. Anglen: Orthopaedic unity is a key part of the AAOS Strategic Plan and essential for the strength of our profession. The advocacy benefits associated with unity are obvious, but it is believed that all our endeavors are made more robust by mutual support and the synergy of diverse persons working together. Education, research, improvements in care quality, and patient safety can all benefit from this sharing.
In some ways, the attempt to keep orthopaedics together as a single profession is bucking the historic trend in medicine. As knowledge and technology expand, we as orthopaedic specialists will necessarily become farther and farther apart in terms of what we actually do in practice. However, as long as bone is bone, there will be a common pool of knowledge that every orthopaedic surgeon needs. We will continue to share values and interests. Hopefully, we will continue to attract the best and brightest, and recruit people with those outstanding personality features that make us unique.
AAOS Now: In the coming year, what do you foresee as your primary role as BOS chair? What will you focus on?
Dr. Anglen: The BOS leadership truly functions as a team, so I have the support of a past chair, chair-elect, and secretary along with great committee chairs. In the coming year, we will conduct an evaluation of how the BOS reorganization is functioning and search for new ways that the BOS organization can serve the societies and their members.
We will also make a concerted effort to involve the representatives of each society in setting the agenda for the BOS, so that we can remain relevant and useful. It is important that we represent the concerns of specialists to the AAOS Board of Directors. As the primary source of scientific and content expertise, specialists are key to the Academy’s education and research missions.
Interviewed by Maureen Leahy, assistant managing editor of AAOS Now. She can be reached at email@example.com