excellence, professionalism, leadership, collegiality, and lifelong learning


Published 12/1/2015
David D. Teuscher, MD

Core Values in Action

Across the President's Desk

Having just returned from the AAOS Fall Meeting of the Board of Councilors (BOC)/Board of Specialty Societies (BOS), I'm convinced that there's no better place to see the Academy's core values——in action. These values were written into the AAOS Strategic Plan 20/20, adopted in 2014, and reflect our inviolable guiding principles (Fig. 1). They were embodied in Denver through the interactions, programming, and commitment of the attendees.

I was particularly struck by the evidence of collegiality. The strategic plan defines collegiality as "embracing diversity and unity with our patients, our profession, and our stakeholders."With the introduction of the advocacy forum for spouses and other patient advocates and the rich interactions of leadership colleagues, the 2015 Fall Meeting met that criteria.

You won't find a more diverse group of orthopaedists than the BOC/BOS members. They not only represent each of the states and orthopaedic specialties, they also reflect the diversity of orthopaedics. In the governance structure of the AAOS, the BOC is your "House of Representatives."Some of the Academy's most significant programs—including the AAOS Standards of Professionalism and Professional Compliance Program—had their origin in the BOC. The BOS is where unity matters most, as we are more similar than different regardless of specialization. Together the BOS and BOC are your representatives and the source of proposed advisory opinions, resolutions, and bylaws amendments. They ensure that your opinions and interests are brought to the Board of Directors and the Fellowship.

We all recognize how important it is to know our Congressional representatives. Thanks to the chair of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons Political Action Committee, John T. Gill, MD, we are learning how important it is that our Congressional representatives know us. But that same interrelationship should exist between every AAOS fellow and his or her BOC representative. If you don't know who your BOC representative is, go to www.aaos.org/About/BOC/ and find out.

During the meeting, Dr. Gill took off his own Capitol Club pin, which recognizes AAOS members who contribute $1,000 or more during a calendar year to the PAC, and offered it to anyone willing to make that donation. By the end of the meeting, he had to order dozens more pins—to replace his own and to recognize leader donors who stepped forward to meet his challenge. I wear mine proudly and invest every year in the future of our profession—as should you; please join us in the Capitol Club today.

That, to me, is an example of another core value, leadership. BOC and BOS members are leaders—they "champion the development and advancement of future leaders, through example, education, and experience in our organization, our practices, and the world."The Leadership Fellows Program, which also met with us during the Fall Meeting, is another example of how your Academy lives these core values.

Leadership was also in evidence—with tongue-in-cheek—during the "roast"of the outgoing BOC and BOS past-chairs, John McGraw, MD, and David Templeman, MD, by BOC Chair-elect Lawrence Halperin, MD, and BOS Chair David Halsey, MD, respectively. Drs. McGraw and Templeman have given much to our profession and served with distinction on your Board of Directors from 2012 through 2015. HUA!

Leadership skills from one position may often prepare an individual for another position. This year, AAOS Nominating Committee has recognized two former BOS chairs with whom I have been privileged to serve, and has slated both Dr. Halsey and Bradford C. Henley, MD. (See "Nominating Committee Announces 2016 Slate.") This means that the AAOS will benefit from their institutional memories and experiences during the coming years.

Similarly, the elections of Basil Besh, MD, as secretary of the BOC, and Amy Ladd, MD, as secretary of the BOS, highlight the deep bench of leaders within our organization. When they take their positions on the AAOS Board of Directors in Orlando, they will bring fresh perspectives and creative ideas to the organization. I am confidant that Dr. Besh's skill with social media and Dr. Ladd's passion for musculoskeletal education and gender diversity will be important additions to our considerations as the AAOS adapts to the changing landscapes in advocacy, education, research and quality, and communications.

The commitment of the BOC and the BOS to lifelong learning, another core value, was underscored in the Fall Meeting programming. The AAOS strategic plan notes that lifelong learning is professional education that advances the science and art of orthopaedic medicine for the needs of our patient. With packed symposia rooms and robust interaction, it was easy for me to see how the efforts of the Fall Meeting organizers resulted is such success. The elected leadership of the BOC and BOS— Drs. Halperin and Halsey, as well as Lisa K. Cannada, MD; Daniel K. Guy, MD; David J. Mansfield; and Brian G. Smith, MD—deserve a round of applause for their programming.

Learning wasn't confined to the general sessions. Committee meetings were focused on health policy, state legislative and regulatory issues, economic issues, education, research and quality, and state orthopaedic societies, giving attendees a chance to hear what's happening across the country. These smaller groups provided opportunities to share what works as well as what's problematic, and to learn what's looming on the horizon.

Open microphone sessions also presented learning opportunities. Issues such as out-of-network billing, antitrust legislation, bundled payments initiatives, and the use of third parties by insurance companies to conduct "peer review"without an evidence base were all discussed.

In every aspect of the meeting and the contributions of attendees, professionalism was evidence. This core value reflects our responsibility to account for the highest professional, clinical and ethical standards to our peers, our patients, and the public with integrity and transparency.

Your Academy has gone to great lengths to raise standards of professionalism among orthopaedic surgeons. From our comprehensive disclosure program and the development of plans to help members in leadership positions manage potential conflicts of interest to the open and transparent way we develop clinical practice guidelines and appropriate use criteria, the AAOS is setting the standard among medical associations.

When you put all these values together, you get excellence—the core value that summarizes the goal of the AAOS in all its endeavors. All AAOS members will have an opportunity to experience that excellence—and to see our other core values at work—during the 2016 AAOS Annual Meeting in Orlando. If you haven't registered yet, I encourage you to do so today. You'll find all the latest meeting details at www.aaos.org/annual

A key aspect of the Annual Meeting will be to recognize those members whose lives embody these core values—the winners of the Diversity Award, the Humanitarian Award, and the Tipton Leadership Award. They will be honored during the Ceremonial Meeting on Thursday, March 3, beginning at 9 a.m. We will also be recognizing the winners of the three Kappa Delta Awards and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation Clinical Research Award.

For the best in collegiality, lifelong learning, professionalism, leadership, and excellence, you can't miss the AAOS Annual Meeting. See you there!