In delivering his final address as Academy president at the 2018 Annual Meeting, William J. Maloney, MD, described his year of service as “a very busy time.” He noted that his presidential year began with the arrival of new executive leadership—Thomas E. Arend Jr, CAE, chief executive officer, and Dino Damalas, MBA, chief operating officer.
“With our new leadership in place, we challenged the Board of Directors to answer the question as to how the AAOS can best serve its members and our profession,” Dr. Maloney said. “The goal was to identify our strengths and focus on activities that enhance member benefit.”
In the high-priority area of education, he described an “important strategic change” that involved some rethinking regarding the educational landscape and the scope of Academy offerings.
Your Academy 2018
“Education has always been a priority for our Academy,” Dr. Maloney said. “Historically, our members have looked to this organization for high-quality, unbiased tools to enhance patient care. This won’t change, but we cannot ignore the current educational environment that we all live and work in.
“We have an extremely large portfolio of educational materials. This is a good thing, but it also can be a challenge from a delivery and quality standpoint. We can no longer create all the content needed by our members,” he said. “Going forward we will leverage our current portfolio and create new content, but we also will partner with specialty societies, industry, and other third parties, so that we can ensure you will have access to the most up-to-date and relevant clinical education for your specific orthopaedic practice area.”
Dr. Maloney also addressed the issue of quality and the Academy’s commitment to “maintain our position at the forefront of the quality movement.” To this end, the Academy is embarking on an ambitious initiative to create a “family of orthopaedic registries,” starting with the return of the American Joint Replacement Registry into the Academy fold and the buildout of an infrastructure to create new registries in other orthopaedic specialties, with shoulder and elbow surgery the next area of focus.
The past year also included several successes and wins on the legal and regulatory fronts. “For example,” Dr. Maloney said, “We have passed through the U.S. House legislation to reform medical liability laws to include a cap on noneconomic damages, legislation to ensure sports team physicians are properly covered by their professional liability insurance when traveling, and legislation to reform unfair antitrust laws.”
An achievement that will please many members was the announcement a new program for Maintenance of Certification by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. “This longitudinal, ongoing assessment occurs every year through a series of questions that the Diplomate has some discretion to select. Keep up, and you will never have to take a high-stakes exam again,” Dr. Maloney said, drawing applause. “This new approach addresses the concern, in orthopaedic surgery and across other medical fields, that the MOC Part III process as it has historically existed can be onerous and not relevant to most practitioners.” (See “ABOS Unveils New MOC Path”).
He noted that laws repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) have been signed “before they had the chance to interfere with our patients’ access to quality musculoskeletal care,” and “with this legislation, we also achieved important funding for the National Institutes of Health and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), additional funding to address the opioid epidemic, and a number of encouraging updates to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.”
Looking forward, Dr. Maloney said, the Academy is “in good hands with David Halsey moving into the role of president, Kristy Weber as first vice-president and the first woman in the Academy’s presidential line, and Joe Bosco as second vice-president.”
He concluded, “It has been an honor, and a privilege, to serve as president of our Academy.”