Published 2/1/2018
William J. Maloney, MD

Academy Starts 2018 With New Vision for Its Education Strategy

This time of year also brings the AAOS 2018 Annual Meeting and a new Academy president
Over the years, the Academy has built quite an impressive list of member benefits that continues to evolve as the healthcare landscape shifts and the needs of our members change. And at the heart of what the Academy provides is education.

Below is a list of just a few of the Academy's more popular and valuable educational offerings:

  • Annual Meeting
  • Exams (Orthopaedics In-Training Exam, Self-Assessment Examinations)
  • Journal of the AAOS
  • Orange Book Series
  • Orthopaedic Knowledge Update
  • ResStudy
  • Code-X
  • Essentials Series
  • Skills Training
  • Surgical Video (Orthopaedic Video Theater [OVT])
  • Procedure-based Webinars
  • Orthoinfo.org
  • Orthopaedic Educator Courses
  • CME Experiences
  • AAOS Now
  • Research

Clearly, the Academy has a large education portfolio, which is a significant and ongoing challenge to maintain from delivery and quality perspectives. In the past, the Academy's education-specific strategy was focused on implementing technology without an overarching strategy of how we were to target and fulfill member needs. The approach sought to be everything to everyone and that just was not possible with finite resources (time, money, people, etc.).

Moving forward, the Academy's new strategy seeks to drive a member-value approach that targets where we can effectively deliver education and when to identify partners (specialty societies and third parties), ultimately enabling the Academy to become a hub where members from all career stages and specialties can effectively engage for their lifelong learning needs.

To help enable this new strategy, the board created the Task Force on Education last summer. Its specific charges included assessing the Academy's role in providing orthopaedic education to its members and others as well as identifying where, how, and for whom the Academy can optimally provide unique, competitive, and best-in-class education. It was also tasked with answering the following questions:

  • What should be the Academy's unique value proposition for its members and others in education and learning experiences?
  • Who and where is the competition?
  • Who should the Academy educate and who should it not educate?
  • Where should the Academy focus its educational activities — both digital and live?
  • Where should the Academy educate and on what platforms/through what channels for content delivery?
  • Should the Academy provide specialty education only in partnership or collaboration with others?
  • What educational products or efforts should the Academy stop?

Suffice to say, the board asked quite a lot from this task force, and in just a few short months, the task force delivered. In December, it presented its findings and recommendations to the board. Highlights included:

  • The Hub: For the Academy to be the hub of orthopaedic learning
    • To be the trusted, preferred learning source for all orthopaedists throughout their careers
    • To be the partner of choice for specialty societies to develop and deliver orthopaedic education
  • Increase Member Value:
    • Include more education like OVT as part of membership
    • Expand services to make them easy to use and access like a streamlined video portal to make OVT more accessible and competitive

What does this mean for 2018? The Academy will be focused on developing educational content that is member-value driven. It will prioritize leveraging partnerships over self-development to fill gaps and areas where we are unable to effectively engage.

Members can expect more education content and content that is delivered using streamlined tools, such as a video streaming platform.

At the end of the day, these efforts will greatly expand the Academy's value proposition, making it more tangible and quantifiable.

I'd like to thank the members that served on the task force, including Gerald R. Williams, Jr, MD, AAOS past president, task force chair; Jacob M Buchowski, MD, MS, member-at-large; Jeffrey S. Fischgrund, MD, JAAOS editor, research; Evan L. Flatow, MD, Council on Education chair; Amy L. Ladd, MD, BOS chair-elect; William N. Levine, MD, JAAOS editor-in-chief; Robert M. Orfaly, MD, BOC secretary; and Paul Tornetta, III, MD, Council on Education chair-elect.

Annual Meeting is a must-experience event
Speaking of education offerings, the AAOS 2018 Annual Meeting is next month. This issue of AAOS Now includes a lot of content focused on the event, and there is even more information available at www.aaos.org/annual. After a little reading, you'll quickly realize the significance of this event. I, for one, cannot be more genuine when I say that the Annual Meeting is a must-attend event. The education, from start through finish, is of the highest caliber. It does not matter if you are early in your career or a seasoned veteran, you will leave with career- and practice-changing information that you cannot get anywhere else.

Be sure to register and finalize your travel details soon. Afterwards, I encourage you to do some light research about New Orleans — the host city. At that point, you'll be primed for the Annual Meeting education as well as the vibrancy and culture that comes with the destination.

Changing of the guard
An aspect of the Annual Meeting that will certainly be a bittersweet moment for me is when I step down as president and welcome David A. Halsey, MD, to the role.

Fortunately, I can rest easy knowing that Dr. Halsey is more than capable of leading the Academy.

He is an extremely gifted surgeon, intelligent businessperson, and passionate leader. He has a clear vision for the Academy, and it will be exciting to watch him help the organization evolve over the next year.

The future
As you can see, there is a lot currently happening with the Academy.

I encourage all of you to engage the organization and volunteer your time and expertise. There is a lot to be done and it will only be achieved with the guidance of sound leadership and the support of thoughtful, dedicated volunteers—resources the Academy has in droves.

With that said, I want to thank you for your ongoing support, and I'm looking forward to seeing you in New Orleans!