Resident Bowl team members Joseph Laurence Petfield, MD; Daniel E. Davis, MD; and Philip A. Ashley, MD, pose with Master of Ceremonies David D. Teuscher, MD.


Published 4/1/2016
Jeremy M. Burnham, MD

The AAOS Resident Assembly: A Look Back on the Inaugural Year

With the close of the 2016 AAOS Annual Meeting, the AAOS Resident Assembly (RA) has completed its inaugural year. Considering the substantial time and resources needed to take the RA from concept to reality, the first year flew by. By all accounts, the RA made significant strides in fulfilling its mission to engage, educate, and represent orthopaedic residents and fellows, while developing future AAOS members and leaders. Furthermore, the stage is now set for continued growth and improvement.

Increased resident participation
Before the creation of the RA, the main avenue for resident participation in the AAOS was the Committee Appointment Program (CAP). In 2015, 19 residents were serving in CAP-appointed roles, accounting for less than 1 percent of the more than 5,500 eligible residents and fellows. This number has increased substantially with the advent of the RA.

At the 2016 Annual Meeting, more than 120 residents served as delegates for their home programs, and an additional 100 residents participated in the RA meeting. This 11-fold increase in resident participation is substantial, but still leaves room for engagement by the remaining 96 percent of residents. Resident participation in the Orthopaedic Political Action Committee (PAC) also increased nearly 200 percent—from 84 residents in 2014 to more than 230 in 2015—due in large part to the leadership of Chad A. Krueger, MD, the first AAOS PAC fellow.

Resident and fellow participation in the RA can occur in many forms. By definition, all U.S. and Canadian residents and fellows in good standing with their training programs are members of the RA, including both allopathic and osteopathic trainees. Each training program is allowed to have one delegate that serves as a voting member and represents his or her home program at the Annual Meeting. All members are able to participate in one of the five subject matter committees (Health Policy, Education, Research, Technology, and Practice Management). After a year of participation, the member can run for chair of that committee (as determined by committee member votes at the Annual Meeting). All committee chairs are part of the Executive Committee, which also includes the chair, past-chair, and vice-chair of the RA, and two member-at-large positions voted on by all RA members. Additional opportunities to get involved, such as ad hoc workgroups, are plentiful.

Additional accomplishments
Seven action items covering a wide array of topics, including global health rotations for U.S. orthopaedic residents, resident involvement in the National Orthopaedic Leadership Conference and state medical societies, standardization of narcotic prescription licensing for residents, and an online curriculum for PGY-1 residents, were submitted by resident members for discussion at this year's RA meeting in Orlando. These action items were subjected to spirited debate at an open forum and were ultimately voted on by resident delegates at the RA Meeting.

Perhaps the most conspicuous RA activity this year was the 1st Annual Resident Bowl, held during the 2016 Annual Meeting. AAOS Past-President David D. Teuscher, MD, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event during which approximately 20 teams and more than 50 residents and fellows participated in a quiz bowl, with questions ranging from clinical orthopaedics to sports trivia. The winning team walked away not only with bragging rights, but also with AAOS Educational Store gift certificates. An overwhelming success, excitement is already building around next year's Resident Bowl competition.

Through its subject matter committees and workgroups, the RA made numerous other contributions throughout the year. For example, committee members published more than 15 articles in AAOS Now and the Journal of the AAOS, led webinars, and held conference calls covering a wide variety of topics relevant to orthopaedic trainees. In addition, members of the Executive Committee provided input and revisions for the AAOS Strategic Plan, and the Technology Committee participated in beta testing and provided valuable feedback for the new AAOS website redesign. The Health Policy, Research, Education, and Practice Management Committees also made substantial strides to increase resident engagement.

RA member involvement also included participation in the first-ever Medical Student Program at the Annual Meeting, development of guidelines for U.S. orthopaedic resident global health rotations, and work on a mentorship program.

Future directions
Members of the 2016–2017 RA have enormous shoes to fill. However, the founders of the RA have provided a substantial base to build upon, and we must keep the momentum going. As part of the mission of the RA, we must identify, develop, and support young leaders. We will need to expand key contact programs pairing current leaders and potential mentors in the AAOS with residents and fellows in the RA. Direction, advice, guidance, and support from AAOS members who have been in our shoes will be crucial to the continued success of the RA. Likewise, we hope to provide similar assistance to orthopaedic-minded medical students through AAOS medical student offerings.

Additionally, we must leverage the ingenuity and technological savvy of orthopaedic trainees to innovate and improve orthopaedic training. The current generation of orthopaedic residents and fellows is well-positioned to bridge the gap between medicine and technology. With duty hour restrictions, increasingly strict operating room regulations, and the ever-growing administrative burden of medicine, orthopaedic training must become more efficient. Similarly, the overwhelming volume of journals, textbooks, and online information will necessitate a paradigm shift in the way we access and assess reference materials.

Orthopaedic surgeons who get involved in advocacy early on are more likely to stay involved later in their careers. The rapid changes that will occur in health policy over the next few years will dramatically affect our ability to care for and interact with our patients. We will need a cadre of well-trained and determined leaders to help advocate for our cause.

Finally, we need to help each other continue to develop as orthopaedic surgeons. After all, the purpose of residency is to obtain the training and knowledge base necessary to develop into competent orthopaedic surgeons capable of providing exemplary care to our patients. To the degree possible in the RA, we should strive to assist all residents and fellows in achieving this goal.

The list of goals set forth above is quite formidable. However, anything worth achieving is going to be necessarily challenging and likely fraught with obstacles. With planning, persistence, and passion, the RA will be able to meet these challenges head-on and succeed in its mission.

Jeremy M. Burnham, MD, is chair of the 2016–2017 AAOS Resident Assembly. He is currently a PGY-5 resident at the University of Kentucky and will be doing a sports medicine fellowship next year at the University of Pittsburgh.

A Team Effort
Many hard-working team members helped make the inaugural-year accomplishments of the RA a reality. For starters, Young-Jo Kim, MD, PhD, was not only instrumental in the creation of the RA, but his steady and timely guidance has also been crucial to its success this year. The 2015–2016 RA Chair, Jared L. Harwood, MD, and 2015–2016 Past-Chair and original work group member, Nathan W. Skelley, MD, have demonstrated exemplary leadership and wisdom and have deftly guided the RA through uncharted waters.

Original work group members CPT(P) Joseph L. Petfield, MD (Health Policy), Rachel M. Frank, MD (Education), Brandon Erickson, MD, (Technology), and Joshua Hunter, MD (Research), also served as committee chairs over the past year, as did Mike Rozell, MD (Practice Management), and they all set the bar sky-high for the future.

AAOS staff members Kristen Erickson and Erin Volland have put in numerous hours behind the scenes and patiently counseled the residents and fellows through this process. Verena Schreiber, MD, and Mark Schultzel, MD, were elected as members-at-large last year and immediately began contributing to the RA. In addition, Todd Milbrandt, MD; MaCalus V. Hogan, MD; CDR (ret) Matthew T. Provencher, MD; Lara Atwater, MD; Jason Bariteau, MD; Stephen Duncan, MD; Brian Grawe, MD; Chad A. Krueger, MD; Daniel Kang, MD; Dan Master, MD; Brent Morris, MD; Richard J. Peterson, JD; and Daniel Prince, MD, have all contributed significant time and resources to the creation of the RA.

2016-2017 RA Executive Committee
Jared L. Harwood, MD, past-chair
Jeremy M. Burnham, MD, chair
Verena Schreiber, MD, vice-chair
Patrick G. Marinello, MD, Health Policy Committee chair
Andrew Jensen, MD, Education Committee chair
Vahid Entezari, MD, Research Committee chair
Phil Louie, MD, Technology Committee chair
Bishoy Gad, MD, Practice Management Committee chair
Nicholas Bonazza, MD, member-at-large
Zachary Working, MD, member-at-large

Resident Assembly Health Policy Committee Update
Patrick G. Marinello, MD

The AAOS Resident Assembly Health Policy Committee concluded its inaugural year during the 2016 Annual Meeting. Under the leadership of Joseph L. Petfeld, MD, our many accomplishments included the following:

  • Hosted a Webinar in August 2015 to discuss issues pertinent to residents, which included a guest presentation by AAOS Past-President, David D. Teuscher, MD.
  • Contributed articles on building relationships to promote advocacy and the state of Graduate Medical Education funding to AAOS Now.
  • Helped increase PAC participation by residents. More than 230 residents contributed to the PAC, due in large part to the communication efforts of the Health Policy Committee.
  • Spread the message about the importance of healthcare advocacy in our residency programs.

This coming year, as chair of the Resident Assembly Healthy Policy Committee, I am excited to work with an energized group of individuals. As of this writing, we have more than 40 members on the Health Policy Committee. Those able to attend the AAOS Annual Meeting had a productive, albeit early, committee meeting during which we discussed the following upcoming goals:

  • Hosting a webinar in September on pressing health policy issues pertaining to the upcoming Presidential election. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements regarding this exciting educational opportunity.
  • Continued articles in AAOS Now written by residents and for residents including:
  • a summary of presidential candidate views on Healthcare issues
  • an analysis of physician compare websites and decoding healthcare "alphabet soup"
  • the legal implications of electronic medical records
  • Encouraging continued increases in residents' PAC contributions.
  • Encouraging residents to become involved in their state and local medical society advocacy work.

The Resident Assembly Committees are only as strong as their members. We encourage you to join a committee and become engaged. We are always eager to have new members and welcome new ideas and suggestions. For more information on how to become involved, contact Stacie Monroe, political affairs manager in the AAOS office of government relations, at

Patrick G. Marinello, MD, is a PGY-4 resident at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Skelley NW, Harwood JL, Hogan MV, Provencher MT, Milbrandt TA, Kim YJ: The AAOS Resident Assembly. J Am Acad Orthop Surg August 2015;23(8), e11-12. doi:10.5435/JAAOS-D-15-00287.