William M. Mihalko, MD, PhD


Published 1/1/2015
Terry Stanton

Annual Meeting Has Something for Everyone

Expect more courses, more media, and more cutting-edge content in Las Vegas

Whatever your taste in entertainment and recreation, Las Vegas offers an unsurpassed variety of attractions. But from March 24 to March 28, the best show in town will be the AAOS Annual Meeting, with a program that can be tailored to precisely serve your professional and educational aspirations.

The choices are overflowing and include the following:

  • 31 symposia
  • 915 scientific paper presentations
  • 566 scientific posters
  • 251 Instructional Course Lectures (ICL)—including 20 that feature the new case presentation format, as well as a restructured Orthopaedic Review and 28 Faculty Development courses
  • More than 85 scientific exhibits
  • The popular Orthopaedic Video Theater with more than 80 videos
  • Specialty Day, featuring 15 orthopaedic specialty societies

“The Annual Meeting promises a wealth of choices that goes beyond the sheer numbers. The comprehensive program has something for all who work in the field of orthopaedics,” said William M. Mihalko, MD, PhD, chair of the Central Program Committee.

“Everything is organized to let attendees meet their preferred and personal learning styles,” he continued. “That means lecture-based and didactic programs, such as symposia, ICLs, and paper presentations, as well as opportunities for interaction, such as the roundtable Case Presentation courses, expert-guided poster tours, and our ‘Ask an Expert’ sessions in the Technical Exhibit Hall, where attendees can bring their own case challenges on a flash drive and present them for diagnosis and recommendation.”

The guided poster tours, Dr. Mihalko noted, “have grown exponentially” since their debut in 2012. This year, in recognition of the increasing presence of international orthopaedists, some tours will be conducted in Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. The poster tours are free to registrants, but early bookings are advised, because some tours will sell out.

Convenient self-directed learning opportunities are also available. Options include the scientific exhibits and posters in both traditional and electronic formats, the peer-reviewed video and multimedia programs at the Orthopaedic Video Theater, and the latest technology and applications on display in the Technical Pavilion.

Scintillating symposia
As always, notes Dr. Mihalko, symposia are a main attraction. Several will be presented in debate or point/counterpoint format and feature leaders in their fields offering highly informed insights and sometimes provocative viewpoints.

Symposia topics range from clinical challenges to ethical issues to diversity in orthopaedics to the intricacies of coding. “I’m impressed and excited both by the variety we have in these sessions and by the way they are sure to stimulate thought while providing solid, practical information that we surgeons can take home and use,” Dr. Mihalko said. A number of the offerings are produced in conjunction with orthopaedic specialty societies or focused committees within the AAOS, including the following:

  • Introducing Spine Imaging and Navigation Technology to Your Practice: What Is Available, Why Do I Need It, How Do I Pay for It? Tuesday, March 24, 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Cobranded with the Scoliosis Research Society, this symposium will expose attendees to new technologies and how physicians should assess their utility.
  • Men, Women, and Quality: Targeting Success in Patient Care and Satisfaction Metrics, Wednesday, March 25,
    1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m. In this session, cobranded with the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society, panelists will explore pertinent sex-related differences in the use of quality metrics and satisfaction measurements, perceptions of care, and osteoarthritis and sports injuries.
  • Cell-Based Therapies in Orthopaedics: Common Sense Approach for the Practicing Orthopaedic Surgeon, Thursday, March 26, 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Organized by the AAOS Biological Implants Committee, this symposium will provide the practitioner with a practical approach regarding the indications and applications of evolving cell-based technologies and treatment paths.
  • Articulations in Total Joint Replacement: Have We Lost Our Bearings? Friday, March 27, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Cobranded with the Orthopaedic Research Society, this symposium will discuss the critical issues related to new and traditional bearing surfaces from the perspectives of the clinician and the material scientist/engineer. “The goal is to provide evidence-based information on bearing technologies and outcomes for joint replacement, so that stakeholders can better understand the challenges that need to be addressed,” Dr. Mihalko said.

A symposium of potential interest to the entire practice team is Orthopaedic Surgery in the Digital Age: Using Social Media to Improve Patient Care and Grow Your Practice, Tuesday, March 24, 8:00 a.m.–10 a.m.

Intriguing ICLs
“The selection of ICLs for the 2015 Annual Meeting is broader than ever,” said Thomas W. “Quin” Throckmorton, MD, chair of the Central Instructional Course Committee.

He noted that the Faculty Development courses have doubled in number, to a total of 28. This year, they are grouped under learning umbrellas, including Leadership and Professional Academic Skills, Scholarship and Research, Outcomes and Maintenance of Certification, Education Communication and Teamwork, and Communication and Teamwork. Although free, Faculty Development sessions require a ticket and quickly fill up, so early registration is encouraged.

“This is an exciting expansion of the Faculty Development series and will certainly prove to be engaging and educational, particularly for academically minded members,” Dr. Throckmorton said.

The number of case presentation ICLs has also increased. In these sessions, the course moderator presents a case and facilitators lead individual table discussions, with each table then sharing its conclusions. The moderator will present a final solution using evidence-based data and offering teaching points.

Another ICL highlight, Dr. Throckmorton said, are the technical skills courses, “which provide a focus on positioning, approach, and step-by-step technical tips and pearls.” Both case presentation and technical skill courses require a ticket purchase.

Practice pointers
The TeamSTEPPS Workshop returns, moderated by Harpal Khanuja, MD. Two sessions are offered on Thursday, March 26—one from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and the other from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This evidence-based team-building and communication program is designed to enhance patient safety and efficiency in health care and give members of the healthcare team the tools to help lead highly effective medical teams.

“The goal is to optimize the use of information, people, and resources to achieve the best clinical outcomes for patients,” Dr. Throckmorton said. “In these fundamental skills workshops, team members increase team awareness and clarify team roles and responsibilities to produce a functional unit based on patient care. Team members also learn to resolve conflicts and improve information sharing to help eliminate barriers to quality and safety.”

Dr. Throckmorton also points to the Community Orthopaedic Surgeon Workshop, Tuesday, March 24, 1:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m., moderated by Dwight Burney, MD, and “geared toward the orthopaedic surgeon who handles a variety of conditions.”

Newly revised and updated is Effective Surgeon-Patient Communication: The Key to Patient Satisfaction, Patient-Centered Care, and Shared Decision Making, Wednesday, March 25, 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. Using the 4E model (Engage, Empathize, Educate, Enlist), it “enables surgeons to effectively and efficiently communicate with patients,” Dr. Throckmorton said. “Positive outcomes from this course include increased patient and surgeon satisfaction, improved adherence to treatment plans, and decreased malpractice risk.”

This year’s restructured Orthopaedic Review Course—Update for Your Practice and Preparation for Your Test is on Friday, March 27, from 8:00 a.m.–5:35 p.m., and is chaired by Jeffrey R. Sawyer, MD. Major sections of the course include pediatrics, upper and lower extremities, tumors and metabolic bone disease, and spine. Each section features discussions of fractures, complications, infections, and trauma with a question-and-answer period.

Spanish-speaking international attendees may enjoy ¿Qué podemos aprender de las Prácticas de reemplazo de cadera y rodilla en Estados Unidos? on Tuesday, March 24, 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Moderated by Rafael J. Sierra, MD, and presented in Spanish, this course will share U.S. practice experiences in total hip and total knee arthroplasty with the aim of improving care in other countries.

Asked to pick a few other ICL highlights, Dr. Throckmorton offered these choices:

  • The Pre-Arthritic Hip in the Young, Active Patient: How Do You Approach It? Scope vs. Open; Acetabular or Femur, Friday, March 27, 4:00 p.m.–6 p.m. This case-based ICL will review the treatment options for femoroacetabular impingement and hip dysplasia.
  • International Perspective in ACL Reconstruction: What Have We Been Missing? Tuesday, March 24, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
  • The Four Most Common Types of Cartilage Damage You Will See in Practice: How We Treat Them and Why, Thursday, March 26, 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m. The faculty will cover osteochondritis dissecans, patellofemoral pain, postmeniscectomy pain, and incidental defects found during arthroscopy.
  • Coding and Reimbursement Update 2015, Wednesday, March 25, 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

For a full listing of events during the 2015 AAOS Annual Meeting, visit www.aaos.org/annual; to register, visit www.aaos.org/register.

Terry Stanton is a senior science writer for AAOS Now. He can be reached at tstanton@aaos.org