Greetings! As local cochairs, we cannot wait to welcome our colleagues to the 2013 AAOS Annual Meeting, to be held March 19–23, in Chicago. We are thrilled the Academy has again chosen our exciting city for this important event—particularly as 2013 marks the Academy’s 80th Anniversary.
Chicago was home to the very first meeting of the AAOS, back in 1933, at a place we both know well—Northwestern University. Then, in 2006, Chicago was proud to provide an excellent meeting locale for the AAOS Annual Meeting, after Hurricane Katrina made it impossible to meet in New Orleans as planned. Although that meeting attracted a record number of attendees, we’re confident that the 2013 meeting will be just as phenomenal, offering all the high-quality learning opportunities you've come to expect.
This year, an estimated 32,000 members, guests, affiliated healthcare professionals, and exhibitors will crisscross Chicago’s sprawling McCormick Place convention center to take advantage of scores of educational resources, including 28 symposia, 825 papers, 580 posters, and 217 instructional courses presented by expert faculty. More than 85 scientific exhibits on extended studies or complex procedures—as well as the AAOS Resource Center, the Orthopaedic Video Theater, the Electronic Skills Pavilion, and the “Ask an Expert” sessions—will vie for your attention.
At the world’s largest orthopaedic marketplace, more than 600 technical exhibitors—including more than 200 first-time exhibitors—will display the latest in orthopaedic products and services. While you participate in all of these fantastic learning opportunities, we hope you also take some time to enjoy Chicago, the home of the AAOS.
Exploring the city
From the lakefront to the skyline, Chicago is a dazzling city full of excitement and charm. If time permits (and the weather cooperates), be sure to explore some of the miles upon miles of parks and unobstructed lakefront paths, as well as Oak Street Beach, just steps away from Michigan Avenue.
Located in the center of Chicago’s downtown Loop area, Millennium Park features stunning outdoor art, including “Cloud Gate,” a 110-ton elliptical sculpture made of highly reflective stainless steel. The structure is affectionately known by locals as “The Bean” because of its unique shape.
Another highlight of Millennium Park is the Crown Fountain, two 50-foot glass block towers that project video images of Chicagoans’ faces on huge screens at either end of a shallow reflecting pool. You can also stroll through Lurie Garden and admire the modern and contemporary art in the Boeing Galleries or cross the 625-foot pedestrian bridge that links the park directly with the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.
Another Chicago highlight is Navy Pier, the city’s most popular tourist attraction. More than 8 million people visit Navy Pier every year to ride the 15-story tall Ferris wheel, stroll through the Crystal Gardens, and visit the Chicago Children’s Museum. Visitors to Navy Pier can also shop at its many stores or dine at restaurants with deep Chicago roots, such as Harry Caray’s and the Billy Goat Tavern.
Shopping opportunities also abound in the stores along Michigan Avenue. Known as the “Magnificent Mile,” this shopping mecca stretches from Oak Street to the Chicago River.
Taking in the culture
Chicago, the birthplace of the skyscraper, is a treasure trove of architectural landmarks. Consider taking a tour to view works by such icons as Daniel Burnham, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Helmut Jahn. The Chicago area is also home to the largest assemblage of buildings and homes by Frank Lloyd Wright, including his home and studio in Oak Park and the Robie House in Hyde Park.
Just north of McCormick Place, you will find the museum campus, which features the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum of Natural History. Guests of any age will enjoy the three state-of-the art theaters that show eight unique shows at the planetarium, as well as the multihued jellyfish featured in the Shedd Aquarium’s “Jellies” exhibit, which runs through 2013. The Field Museum attracts visitors with the towering “Sue,” the world’s largest and best-preserved T-Rex.
South of McCormick Place, you will find the Museum of Science and Industry, with exhibits such as the U-505, the only German submarine in the United States. Guests can tour this relic from World War II to get a sense of what life would have been like aboard the sub.
But Chicago’s world-class entertainment certainly does not end here. For a wonderful theatrical performance, head to venues such as the Lookingglass Theatre Company, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, or the Goodman Theatre. The highly acclaimed Chicago Shakespeare Theater, located at Navy Pier, won the Regional Theatre Tony Award® in 2008. It is currently performing its unique take on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, named by the Chicago Tribune's theater critic as one of the top ten shows to see during Chicago’s 2013 winter theater season.
If sports are more your style—and your schedule permits—consider joining our city’s sports enthusiasts at a game. Basketball fans can take a quick cab ride from Michigan Avenue to the United Center to see the Chicago Bulls.
Last, but certainly not least, are the many fine restaurants that call Chicago home. From the best deep-dish pizza in the world to adventurous gourmet fare, our city has it all. For some specific recommendations, see “Sweet Home Chicago” on page 42.
We are both looking forward to welcoming you to Chicago! We wish you an enlightening, informative, and enjoyable Annual Meeting.
Local Committee Cochairs Michael F. Schafer, MD, and John F. Sarwark, MD, both reside in the Chicago area.