Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel has been the site of several historic events—including the first annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. But orthopaedics had ties to the Palmer House long before that meeting.
In 1912, the Central States Orthopaedic Club was founded with 38 members and held its first meeting at the Palmer House; John Lincoln Porter of Chicago was the first president. Members, some of whom were also members of the American Orthopaedic Association, were from the central states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. The club was destined to become the premiere “show-and-tell” orthopaedic organization.
As the organization grew, the emphasis on clinical treatment prompted members to propose a name change—to the Clinical Orthopaedic Society. Members wanted to see how various orthopaedic conditions were treated in different cities, and presenters often brought along their patients to the meetings. Following the presentations, members discussed orthopaedic methods and teaching.
In 1990, the Clinical Orthopaedic Society became a national organization with the following four membership categories: Regular, Resident/Fellow, Candidate, and Emeritus.
Although the Clinical Orthopaedic Society publishes a biannual newsletter and an official journal (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances), the society’s primary function is its annual meeting. The meeting format requires patient presentation as part of any presented paper. Questions from the floor are encouraged. In the words of the seal, members “learn by seeing, hearing, fellowship, and criticism.”
On Sept. 13–15, 2012, the Clinical Orthopaedic Society celebrated “100 years of advancing the art and science of orthopaedic surgery” at the place where it started—Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel (now the Palmer House Hilton). Just as at that first meeting, live patient presentations allowed participants to view patient–physician interactions.
“The 100th Anniversary Meeting was an excellent meeting,” said Bess E. Brackett, MD, 2011–2012 president. “Pietro Tonino, MD, of Loyola put together a wonderful scientific program, drawing upon the vast depth of orthopaedic expertise in the Chicago area.” At the meeting, William C. Warner Jr, MD, stepped into the president’s role.
More information about the Clinical Orthopaedic Society can be found at www.cosociety.org