Published 3/1/2013
William B. Stetson, MD; Lynne Dowling

World-Class Meeting Has International Following

AAOS Annual Meeting attracts orthopaedists from around the world

The AAOS Annual Meeting remains the largest orthopaedic educational meeting in the world, and international participation is robust. Nearly one third of physician attendees are from countries outside the United States. They come to learn from the best—and they are eager to participate in the multiple educational opportunities the Annual Meeting affords.

It was just 20 years ago that the AAOS Board of Directors established a Task Force on International Initiatives. In implementing the recommendations of that task force, the AAOS has enhanced its presence in the global orthopaedic community, improved patient musculoskeletal care around the world, and generated revenue from the international marketplace.

The AAOS International Committee has established strong professional relationships with numerous orthopaedic societies throughout the world. As a result, professional participation by international members during the Annual Meeting is strong. From the Opening Ceremonies through Specialty Day, your international colleagues make extensive contributions to the advancement of orthopaedic knowledge at the AAOS Annual Meeting.

For example, a “Worldwide Perspective on Hip Instability after Total Hip Replacement” will be provided on Tuesday, March 19 (10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., McCormick Place Room S406). Presenters include leading surgeons from the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

The Orthopaedic Video Theater (Academy Hall B) includes surgical technique videos from countries as varied as Australia, Chile, Italy, and Japan.

The Guest Nation program this year recognizes our neighbor to the north, Canada, so expect to see plenty of red maple leaf flags throughout the convention center. Canada will have its own section of scientific posters in Academy Hall B and members of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association are conducting two instructional course lectures (ICL):

  • ICL 144: Legg Calvé Perthes Disease: The Beginning and the End—March 19, 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • ICL 221: Optimizing Patient Function After Total Hip Replacement—March 20, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Looking to the future
With nearly 5,000 international members (physicians and residents), the AAOS is an important and valued organization to the world orthopaedic community. The Annual Meeting attracts attendees from around the globe; during the past 5 years, the countries with the greatest representation have included (in alphabetical order) Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

But with more than 200,000 orthopaedic surgeons outside of the United States, the Academy’s reach can be extended significantly—both in attracting new members to our world-class organization and in sharing knowledge across international boundaries.

AAOS members from the United States who have served as instructors at international courses or as mentors to international scholarship recipients studying here agree that U.S. and international orthopaedists have much to learn from each other. Orthopaedists in developing countries may marvel at the technology available here, while we may be surprised at their creativity and resourcefulness in addressing complex problems with limited resources.

Technology advances and the changing face of “traditional” orthopaedic training and education dictate that we must continue to adjust our business models and educational offerings to keep pace with the evolution of education in global orthopaedics.

We and the members of the AAOS International Committee—Stefano A. Bini, MD; Joseph R. Cass, MD; Ralph R. Coughlin, MD; Xavier A. Duralde, MD; Guido Marra, MD; Sergio A. Mendoza-Lattes, MD; Peter G. Trafton, MD; and Adrienne Socci, MD—invite you to take a broader look at the world of orthopaedics. Welcome those wearing the light green international member ribbon; strike up a conversation on the bus from the hotel to McCormick Place, over coffee, or during a break; stop by the Guest Nation booth in Academy Hall B; find out how you can sponsor a scholarship recipient or serve as a mentor in the International Business Office, Room (N229).

Your presence and activities in the global orthopaedic community can help increase awareness, attract new members to the AAOS, and improve the quality of orthopaedic care for patients worldwide.

William B. Stetson, MD, chairs the AAOS International Committee; Lynne Dowling is the director of the Academy’s international department.

Map graphic
Annual Meeting International Physician Attendance

Did you know…

  • The AAOS has conducted educational programs on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Orthopaedic Basic Science is a residency curriculum requirement in Australia.
  • Instructional Course Lectures serve as the basis of Board Certification preparation in Korea.
  • The Journal of the AAOS is read by more than 56,000 orthopaedic surgeons outside of the United States.
  • The AAOS has nearly 5,000 international members.
  • Previous international scholarship recipients have gone on to become leaders in their home countries—in orthopaedic associations, hospitals, and ministries.