Daniel K. Guy, MD, FAAOS, began his term as AAOS president in March 2021, during what he called a “pivotal moment in history.” On Thursday, he gave a presidential address at an AAOS Annual Meeting for the second time in seven months, this time as outgoing president.
“This has been quite a year!” Dr. Guy observed. “Having tiptoed from forced isolation to our new normal, we now can appreciate how good things were and share optimism that they will be again.”
Dr. Guy continued, “There is an African proverb that tells us that ‘smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.’ Well, recent times, like rough seas, have required us all to become skillful sailors. When we have encountered obstacles in our path, we have found the best way to overcome them, and we are better for the effort.”
Dr. Guy spelled out AAOS’ formula to ensure that the organization continues to make a difference. “Continued success requires two complementary actions: First, we build on what works. Second, we innovate and take advantage of new opportunities,” Dr. Guy said.
A prime example of building on what works is the AAOS Annual Meeting itself. Dr. Guy noted that AAOS has successfully hosted its signature event twice in the past seven months while continuously navigating the ever-evolving pandemic. Through careful coordination and hard work by AAOS volunteers and staff, attendees have enjoyed a safety-first environment where they can meet and exchange information and ideas.
This year’s Annual Meeting takes several of the changes first introduced at the 2021 Annual Meeting in San Diego—such as optimized length of Instructional Course Lectures (ICLs)— and adds a new member benefit of complimentary ICLs and the launch of OrthoDome, an innovative learning format that offers an immersive experience featuring 4K and three-dimensional high-resolution video content. Next year’s meeting in Las Vegas will also feature a revamped approach to specialty programming.
Dr. Guy cited ways in which AAOS demonstrated its commitment to evidence- based exploration of new clinical approaches and therapies and to seizing new opportunities.
“Our profession is always seeking a better way to provide care to patients, and we rely on research to guide us and AAOS to support research efforts … that will make a difference as we develop better ways to provide high-quality care,” Dr. Guy said.
To this end, he noted, the AAOS Board of Directors (BoD) recently approved the AAOS Specialty Society Research Support Fund, a collaborative effort by which AAOS provides initial seed dollars targeted for research, with a maximum of $250,000 in matching funds available each year.
“Matching is key,” Dr. Guy said. “We want to extend the reach of these research dollars.”
Additionally, the BoD authorized $3 million of support for the AAOS Registry Program, Dr. Guy said. On the advocacy side, AAOS efforts procured another $30 million in Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program funding.
Another innovation making a difference is the IDEA (Inspiring Diversity Equity and Access) Grant Program, developed by AAOS’ Diversity Advisory Board. This four-tracked, $1 million initiative is designed to encourage more women and underrepresented minorities to choose orthopaedics as a profession.
“IDEA grants will help us provide more support for highly successful and established programs like Nth Dimensions and the Perry Initiative and, at the same time, spark development of new, innovative programs to achieve our strategic goal of a more diverse profession,” Dr. Guy said.
AAOS will continuously seek matching funds to support and extend the reach of this program, and early efforts have already paid off. Dr. Guy announced that Stryker and DePuy Synthes have agreed to provide matching funds for IDEA Grants. “This is truly exciting news as their involvement has already increased our investment threefold,” he added.
Service, not reward
Invoking President Truman, Dr. Guy said AAOS has tried to “emphasize the service and not the reward.”
“Because of your service, we have achieved a lot in this past 12 months,” Dr. Guy said.
In fact, last year’s efforts have led to many exciting things to look forward to, he said, including the expanding the AAOS’ registries, evaluating and monitoring the role of biologics in orthopaedics, incorporating artificial intelligence and virtual reality in educational offerings, enhancing member communications through the exploration of a new AAOS-wide mobile app, and expanding collaboration with specialty societies.
Together these efforts make the future look bright.
“Great organizations like AAOS were not started to become great, but rather to make a difference, by emphasizing the service of our members and not the reward,” Dr. Guy said.
He credited this current and future success to the more than 800 member volunteers, the more than 250 members of AAOS’ award-winning staff, and the countless number of people whom he met throughout the year at state society, regional, and specialty society meetings.
Summarizing, he quoted John Heyward: “Many hands make light work.” “I am both encouraged and proud of what I have seen this past year though our Academy, the actions of so many of you, who have added your own hands to ‘making a difference’ for our patients, our profession, and our Academy,” Dr. Guy said.
He closed his speech by thanking his wife, Jill, and their family, and he expressed his gratitude for those who trained him for orthopaedics, particularly the late Charles A. Rockwood Jr, MD, FAAOS.
He expressed his thanks to the BoD and to each of his partners in leadership on the Presidential Line, including his successor for 2022–2023, Felix H. “Buddy” Savoie III, MD, FAAOS, as well as Immediate Past President Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS, incoming First Vice President Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA, FAAOS, and Second Vice President Paul Tornetta III, MD, FAAOS. “AAOS will be in excellent hands with Buddy as our 90th president,” Dr. Guy said.
“I want to thank you again for allowing me the great honor to serve as your president. Much has been and will be accomplished, and I can say with confidence, ‘Service is the reward,’” Dr. Guy concluded.
Leah Lawrence is a freelance writer for AAOS Now.