AAOS encourages members to join the liaison program
To ensure that the voice of orthopaedics is heard, more than 60 AAOS members represent the Academy and their colleagues by serving as liaisons to federal agencies and other organizations. Liaisons help shape quality measures, standards and appropriateness criteria, and medical device reviews, and publish materials on advances in research, medical care, and treatment. Liaison positions vary in scope, time commitment, and work product, and therefore attract members with diverse interests and backgrounds.
Adolph (Chick) Yates, MD, is an AAOS liaison to the National Quality Forum Surgical Standing Committee and serves on several technical expert panels for the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. His interest in volunteering grew out of his work with evidence-based medicine processes with the AAOS and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS).
"I thought I could help. In particular, I wanted to protect access for patients whose conditions are perceived to be at higher risk. These patients are more likely to be left behind in the evolving world of value-based medicine," said Dr. Yates, who has been volunteering as a liaison for 7 years.
The orthopaedic viewpoint
Many volunteers are drawn to liaison positions for the opportunity to collaborate with other specialties.
Alexandra (Alexe) Page, MD, serves on the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC), an organization that ensures the quality of advanced imaging.
"This particular position was interesting because I had worked on the AAOS position statement around physician ownership of imaging," Dr. Page said. "Additionally, I'd worked with my practice on optimizing the use of MRI for our musculoskeletal patients."
Dr. Page started on the IAC MRI committee and is now the president-elect for the MRI section and serves on the IAC board of directors.
"I am in the unusual position of explaining the musculoskeletal perspective," she said. "However, it also affords a chance to understand the challenges and successes other specialties are facing, not just around imaging but practice and policy issues more generally."
Members who have volunteered their time agree that the work is not only beneficial to them professionally, but also enables them to make a significant contribution in advancing musculoskeletal care.
Derek Amanatullah, MD, has been the AAOS liaison to the National Obesity Collaborative Care Summit for several years. He uses his position to educate other stakeholders on the magnitude and complexity of obesity as it interacts with musculoskeletal health and orthopaedic surgery, including early revision surgery, periprosthetic joint infection, and component position.
Dr. Amanatullah has also helped develop the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery consensus statement.
"It has been rewarding and interesting. I've been able to expand my knowledge about how medicine and other surgical subspecialties interact with orthopaedic surgery and vice versa," Dr. he said.
Through this work, Dr. Amanatullah has gained a deeper insight into obesity as a disease and the challenges of patient-guided management, changing public perception, and surgical decision making. For example, after meeting experts at the National Obesity Collaborative Care Summit, he created a guide on how musculoskeletal health providers can help patients lose weight.
Give it a try
Current liaison volunteers highly recommend participating in the liaison program to other members. "These liaison positions offer windows into healthcare beyond orthopaedics and enable us to both learn and contribute," Dr. Page said.
Each liaison position is linked to a relevant AAOS committee and council. The committee chair is given the liaison contact information and a description of the project. Liaisons are asked to report on their work. This defined process creates a collaborative effort on many fronts, including developing performance measures, preparing grant applications, and responding to procurement requests.
Some liaisons are appointed directly by the AAOS, but in other situations, the AAOS nominates a member for consideration and the requesting organization makes the final selection. Service as a liaison does not prevent a member from serving on other AAOS committees.
To find available liaison positions, visit the Committee Appointment Program website at www.aaos.org/cap.
Kyle Trivedi is the manager of policy and regulatory affairs in the AAOS office of government relations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.