More than 79 percent of AAOS members think it’s important to enhance the public image of orthopaedics. Following are just some of the ways the AAOS ensures that orthopaedic surgeons and the AAOS continue to be seen as the gold standards for musculoskeletal health information and treatment.


Published 7/1/2012
Lauren P. Riley

Enhancing the Image of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Members value the image enhancement that the AAOS delivers

Think about every health-related story on bones and joints that you see on television or in magazines, or hear on the radio. Don’t forget public service announcements and ads (PSAs) that appear on television or radio and in airports across the country. These media opportunities help define the image of orthopaedic surgeons in the eyes of patients and the public.

Public relations allows the Academy to promote orthpaedics and its members—the variety of conditions you treat, the kinds of injuries you try to prevent, and the difference you make in the quality of your patients’ lives each day.

Public service advertisements, like this one, show that orthopaedists are caring, compassionate doctors.

Public service advertising
A PSA is a noncommercial advertisement broadcast on radio or television or appearing in print, with a message for public good. PSAs can focus on a variety of topics. Academy PSAs have covered injury prevention; distracted driving; the sign-your-site program for patient safety; joint replacement; falls prevention; foot, ankle, hip, and knee conditions; childhood obesity; back pain; fragility fractures; and much more. Each ad drives traffic to the AAOS patient education website,, or another Academy-affiliated website so patients can get more information.

PSAs are also available as posters and postcards, which you can use in your office and at health fairs. They are often created in partnership with other orthopaedic-related organizations and specialty societies. All PSA materials are available to you for free; you only pay the cost of shipping. You can find out more at

Media relations
Because orthopaedic surgeons are the experts on bone and joint health, the AAOS regularly sends out press releases and news ideas to national, local, and industry media recommending AAOS spokespersons. Clinical studies and reviews published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery or Journal of the AAOS are the basis for many of these ideas.

The ongoing Prevent Injuries America! Program—showing how orthopaedic surgeons would rather prevent injuries than treat them—is another way the AAOS educates the media about orthopaedic surgeons. Because the media serve as conduits to the public, this ongoing dialogue with reporters means that AAOS spokespersons are featured in many top-tier publications and that the AAOS message reaches millions of readers, listeners, and viewers across the country. From the New York Times to Vogue magazine, from CNN to NPR, orthopaedic surgeons and the AAOS continue to have a voice.

Special media campaigns and projects
The AAOS regularly introduces special media campaigns and ongoing projects that help enhance the image of orthopaedic surgeons, including the new A Nation in Motion campaign, the Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence (MORE) awards, and the Safe, Accessible Playground Build.

Launched at the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference (NOLC), the A Nation in Motion public awareness campaign is designed to demonstrate the value that orthopaedic surgeons provide by improving health and enhancing the quality of life for millions of Americans. The website features more than 500 patient stories built around the theme, “Because of my orthopaedic surgeon, I can…” Each personal testimony demonstrates how orthopaedic care enabled the individual to return to work and mobility.

An aggressive media relations program for this campaign has resulted in articles in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post, along with dozens of local print, radio, and television stories. Your patients can still enter their “I Can” stories at, and the AAOS hopes that every member will be a part of this campaign.

You can also order A Nation in Motion: The Game for your office. This educational board game has players navigating complex bone and joint conditions along the road of life. It makes a great addition to your reception area, sends a pertinent message to a local legislator, or can be a gift to someone. The game is free; a nominal shipping fee applies.

The MORE Awards program is in its eighth year. This program recognizes journalists who accurately report on orthopaedic conditions and lets them know that orthopaedic surgeons and the AAOS read, acknowledge, and appreciate the articles and news segments they create.

To date, more than 100 journalists have received MORE Awards. If you see, read, or hear an orthopaedic-related media story that deserves a MORE Award, email with a link or details. Stories will be accepted until October 2012.

Since 2000, the Academy’s annual volunteer build project—the award-winning Safe, Accessible Playground Build—has provided an opportunity to visibly support playground safety and give something back to the host city of the AAOS Annual Meeting.

The 2012 build in San Francisco marked the Academy’s 13th one-day volunteer build; mark your calendars for our 2013 build—Tuesday, March 19, in the Auburn-Greshman neighborhood of Chicago. If you have questions or need a pledge or volunteer form, contact Kayee Ip by email at or by phone at 847-384-4035.

The AAOS also has tool kits, bookmarks, distracted driving materials, and many more image-enhancing products available to you; visit to see and order them.

Lauren P. Riley is manager, media relations, in the AAOS public relations department. She can be reached at

Did you know…?

  • The AAOS has produced more than 20 television and radio ads and 65 print PSAs since 2000.
  • Ads are sent to more than 10,000 media outlets nationwide (television/cable stations, radio stations, and print publications), and are distributed to airports across the country. AAOS PSAs have even played roles in shaping legislation.
  • Since 2011, AAOS PSAs have delivered an estimated ad value equivalent of $21 million in free time and space, reaching an audience of 1.1 billion people.
  • For every $1 the AAOS spends on PSAs, AAOS members reap $175 in positive advertising messages.

Thank You
A Nation in Motion
would not have been possible without the generous support of the following sponsors:

  • Biomet, Inc.
  • DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.
  • Zimmer, Inc.
  • Smith & Nephew, Inc.
  • Stryker Corporation
  • Synthes, Inc.