During his last address as AAOS president, Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA, FAAOS, spoke about the work AAOS leadership has done during his tenure to adapt to the ever-evolving needs of members and patients.


Published 2/14/2024
Leah Lawrence

Outgoing AAOS President Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA, Highlights Updated AAOS Strategic Plan

One of the few constants in life and in healthcare is change, explained outgoing AAOS President Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA, FAAOS. In his 2023 Presidential Address during Wednesday’s Your Academy session, Dr. Bozic spoke to attendees about the work AAOS leadership has done during his tenure as 2023–2024 AAOS president to adapt to the ever-changing needs of members and patients in order to stay relevant.

“We acknowledge that the world and the healthcare environment we work in have changed dramatically in the past 5 years,” said Dr. Bozic, who is the inaugural chair of the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin.

These changes have included growth in multispecialty practice employment and unionization of orthopaedic surgeons and other physicians, as well as increased investment by private equity in orthopaedic practices. The specialty is in the midst of a transition out of hospitals and into ambulatory settings, a change that has fundamentally altered the relationships between orthopaedic surgeons and their hospitals and health systems, Dr. Bozic said. In addition, technology, including artificial intelligence, also continues to force the specialty to evolve.

In order to adapt to these changes, the AAOS Board of Directors recently performed a comprehensive review and update of its Strategic Plan, looking back at the progress over the past 5 years and forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead.

“Earlier this week, the AAOS Board of Directors approved a new Strategic Plan that will guide our organization for the next 5 years,” Dr. Bozic said. “This plan charts a course to help us to pursue our vision of becoming the trusted leaders in advancing musculoskeletal health by building on the strong foundation of the past 5 years; remaining committed to exceptional member experience; leading efforts in health system transformation; and evolving our culture to become more diverse, inclusive, and strategic.” The new Strategic Plan was designed to modernize AAOS’ governance to make sure it evolves and stays adaptive and sustainable in the midst of turbulent times.

As the organization works to adapt and modernize, Dr. Bozic also encouraged its members to do so. A breakdown in civil discourse and empathy, exacerbated by the rise of social media, has the potential to be a divisive force within the orthopaedic profession. Dr. Bozic encouraged people to turn away from any “us versus them” mentality.

“It has become far too common to dismiss people with divergent views or label them as adversaries rather than fellow citizens and orthopaedic surgeons with valid perspectives,” Dr. Bozic said. “As your president for the past year, I have witnessed first-hand this polar divide and the detrimental effects of these trends.”

He encouraged members to embrace diverse and disparate views. Not doing so, he said, means missing opportunities to tap into the collective wisdom and strength of the AAOS membership.

“To unlock this potential, it is crucial for us to foster an environment where respectful dialogue, empathy, and the free exchange of ideas are not only respected but encouraged and valued,” Dr. Bozic said. “We must make room for everyone in order for our organization to continue to grow and thrive.” He challenged everyone to wholeheartedly embrace and honor people’s differences, and to leverage them to find a bold and innovative path forward.

As his last official act as president, Dr. Bozic finished by saying what an incredible honor it has been for him to serve as AAOS president.

“It’s been an amazing year, one that has challenged me as a leader, while also allowing me to step back and reflect on my own personal and professional goals and priorities,” Dr. Bozic said. “During my inaugural address in Las Vegas last year, I mentioned that all leaders should strive to leave their organizations better than they found them, and I have worked hard to live up to that expectation.”

Although much work has been done, he said, there is much more to do. Thankfully, AAOS is well-positioned to continue its current positive trajectory under the leadership of incoming President Paul Tornetta III, MD, PhD, FAAOS, and its diverse and talented Board of Directors, who he is inspired by on a daily basis. Finally, Dr. Bozic closed by thanking the dedicated AAOS staff and committed volunteers. He offered a special thanks to his wife, Christi, and his three daughters, Ava, Alexa, and Alanna, and promised to be home for more family suppers in 2024.

Leah Lawrence is a freelance medical writer for AAOS Now.