Published 11/1/2019
Wilford K. Gibson, MD, FAAOS

AAOS Veteran Mentors Encourage Participation This Veterans Day

In honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons is encouraging members to sign up for its veteran mentorship program through American Corporate Partners (ACP). The national nonprofit organization helps post-9/11 veterans transition into the private sector, particularly those interested in health care or business. More than 15,000 people have completed the program.

Through one-on-one counseling, AAOS mentors provide veterans with important tools for long-term career development and the chance to create better lives post-service. Veterans and orthopaedic physicians are matched for one year according to mentoring preferences such as age, sex, and professional interests. At least once a month, they discuss topics such as resume and interview preparation, networking, and other professional development topics.

The program has had a positive impact on all participants. Due to AAOS members’ valued mentorship, 100 percent of mentees surveyed stated that they are glad AAOS is participating, would recommend the program, and would participate again. The program also has helped with AAOS’ congressional advocacy efforts. As a Council on Advocacy-sponsored partnership, it often comes up in Office of Government Relations conversations and is of great interest to members of Congress looking at AAOS’ portfolio of issues.

The testimonials herein reflect the impact the program has had on AAOS members and why they are encouraging peers to sign up today. For more information, visit www.acp-usa.org/mentor (access code: AAOSACP).

Testimonials from AAOS veteran mentors

“I just completed a year of mentoring a young man who was on a military scholarship for pre-med. He and I spoke monthly during the year, and I helped him with some strategy for the application process and with his personal statement. He has a unique background, and the experience was very rewarding for both of us. I read the article in AAOS Now last year and reached out to ACP. They helped me find someone with a healthcare interest, and since I also serve on our state Senate veterans committee, this was a great fit. I just learned that my mentee has been accepted to medical school, and I hope I played a small role in helping him to prepare. I highly recommend the experience.”
–Georgia State Senator Kay Kirkpatrick, MD (R-Marietta)

“As soon as I heard about ACP, I chose to get involved. I believe in paying forward the mentoring and help I received. What better way than through mentoring someone who served our country and is transitioning? I am paired with a wonderful mentee who is quite motivated to get an MBA and be involved in affecting change in health care based on his experiences. It is gratifying to help with resume and interview preparation and planning for his future.”
–Lisa K. Cannada, MD, FAAOS

“We’re always being asked to give money to various good causes, but this is an ask to give your time—which for us, as orthopaedic surgeons, is often more valuable than what we can do with our wallets. Becoming a mentor with ACP is an opportunity to help build the bridge between military service and a civilian career for these deserving veterans who have endured so much for our freedom. Without that bridge, they may drown in the river of transition.”
–John J. McGraw, MD, FAAOS

“When I came back from deployments, I was fortunate to have the support of family and friends to transition into civilian life. Some of the veterans who return from war come back to broken homes or outgrown friendships. They need the professional support a mentor can provide to help get back on their feet. That is why this program makes such a difference.”
–Wilford K. Gibson, MD, FAAOS