The importance of connecting and collaborating with colleagues was emphasized throughout Tuesday’s AAOS New Member Luncheon.
“Coming together is beginning, keeping together is progress, and working together is success,” said AAOS Membership Council Chair Elizabeth Matzkin, MD, FAAOS, who was one of three speakers at the event. Dr. Matzkin was the first to welcome new members to the AAOS, and encouraged attendees to be active members, taking full advantage of the resources and fellowship the AAOS has to offer.
AAOS Past President Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS, continued by emphasizing the opportunities for service to the orthopaedic community that AAOS membership offers.
“The Academy is only as good as each of you sitting here and what you give back. Being a part of the Academy is a way you can give back.” Joining AAOS is an important milestone in attendees’ careers, Dr. Bosco continued. He added that the AAOS can be like “a second family,” helping members achieve the highest levels of professional standing and achievement.
Guest speaker Brian McCardel, MD, FAAOS, followed Dr. Bosco and delivered the keynote address. Over the course of his career as an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. McCardel has been involved in numerous community service activities, as well as many leadership roles regionally, locally, and nationally, including serving as a member of the AAOS Health Care Systems Committee and the AAOS Research and Quality Council.
Sharing poignant personal stories from his long career, Dr. McCardel illustrated the need to create and maintain relationships with peers and mentors who can help attendees face the challenges of a career in orthopaedic surgery, particularly the uncertainty surrounding patient outcomes.
“We’re human beings taking care of human beings,” said Dr. McCardel, describing an important lesson he learned from a mentor early on in his career. Absolute certainty is often impossible when practicing medicine. Instead, clinicians should use reason and good judgment when making clinical decisions, embracing uncertainty to achieve what his mentor described as “prudential certitude.”
A little pressure on the job can be a good thing, according to Dr. McCardel. “It’s how you can tell you have a job that matters,” he said. However, orthopaedic surgeons can experience periods of stress, uncertainty, and failure. These moments are when physicians can rely on colleagues for guidance, or just a listening ear. “It’s one of the big advantages of Academy membership and attending these meetings,” Dr. McCardel said. “You get to renew friendships and bring cases to share.”
Following the talks, new members had the opportunity to start creating these important relationships during a networking session with peers and esteemed AAOS member ambassadors.
New members comprise a diverse group, including the domestic classes of 2020 and 2021, and international and physician assistant members. This diversity is embodied by new members such as Vaida Glatt, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Texas Health and Science Center and new Associate Member - Basic Sciences. As a scientist studying bone repair and regeneration who holds multiple patents, Dr. Glatt is looking forward to the relationships she’ll build as a member of AAOS. “I’m always interested to see what’s new, as far as treatment strategies and the surgical techniques clinicians use, because they are the ones who are actually using our products,” Dr. Glatt said.
New members can look forward to taking advantage of the many benefits of AAOS membership—including opportunities for education, networking, and volunteering—that exemplify the AAOS mission to support each member in their professional growth. As Dr. Bosco noted, “The Academy helps you construct the career you want and offers something to each of you.” As new members learned yesterday during the luncheon, perhaps the most important membership benefit is the personal connections they will create.
Pamela Stebbins, MWC, is president of Spark Strategic Communications and freelance writer for AAOS Now.