In his address to the Your Academy audience on Thursday, First Vice President Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA, FAAOS, said that the opportunity to serve AAOS in a variety of roles has been one of the greatest honors of his life.
Dr. Bozic, chair of the department of surgery and perioperative care at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, has a distinguished record of service to AAOS and the profession, including as member-at-large of the AAOS Board of Directors, past chair of the AAOS Research and Quality Council, the AAOS Health Care Systems Committee, and the American Joint Replacement Registry, as well as cofounder and former chair of the California Joint Replacement Registry. In March 2023, Dr. Bozic will assume the role of AAOS president.
Paraphrasing the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, Dr. Bozic said, “A leader is best when people barely know they exist; when their work is done, their aims fulfilled, the people will say: We did it ourselves. In other words, our biggest challenge as leaders is to make ourselves invisible to those whom we are called upon to serve, while helping our respective organizations achieve their goals.”
People who practice orthopaedic surgery chose a career that is dedicated to serving people, specifically those with disabling musculoskeletal conditions or injuries. This service comes with the great reward of helping someone return to the activities and lifestyle they enjoy, Dr. Bozic said.
However, he noted, surgeons may also answer to calls for service outside of clinical care—in schools, in faith, and within the profession, such as volunteer positions in AAOS.
“Those of us who have been given the honor of serving in leadership roles recognize how fortunate we are to be able to give back to the profession that has given us so much,” Dr. Bozic said.
Calls to service can look different for everyone. Participation can be as simple as joining a continuing medical education course, serving a term on a committee or council, or contributing to the AAOS Political Action Committee. No matter how one chooses to serve, the rewards are innumerable, Dr. Bozic said, and can include the opportunity to network, learn from colleagues, or advocate for patients and the profession, as well as the ability to contribute to advances in orthopaedic practice.
As AAOS first vice president, Dr. Bozic said he recognizes the responsibility and accountability of his role. “My job is to serve our members and our patients in pursuit of our vision of becoming the trusted leaders in advancing musculoskeletal health,” he said.
He said he hopes to hear from members in the coming year. Past feedback from the membership has led to important programming initiatives, such as the expansion of the AAOS Registry Program and the fostering of a more diverse and inclusive culture under the guidance of the AAOS Diversity Advisory Board.
“Although many challenges lie ahead, there is no profession I would rather dedicate my life to and no professional society I would rather serve,” Dr. Bozic said. “As servant leaders, we are here to support the goals and needs of our members and our patients and, in doing so, contribute to the health and well-being of our society.”
Dr. Bozic closed his address by inviting attendees to join him and other AAOS leaders on their journey as “servant leaders” to better serve the profession and its patients.
Leah Lawrence is a freelance writer for AAOS Now.