Alfonso Mejia, MD, FAAOS


Published 3/11/2024
Robert M. Orfaly, MD, MBA, FAAOS

Immediate Past Chair Alfonso Mejia, MD, Reflects on Board of Councilors’ Past 50 Years

Robert M. Orfaly, MD, MBA, FAAOS, editor-in-chief of AAOS Now, sat down with Alfonso Mejia, MD, FAAOS, immediate past chair of the AAOS Board of Councilors (BOC), to discuss the work of the BOC and the evolution of AAOS educational programming.

Dr. Orfaly: Alfonso, thank you for sitting down with me and spending some time talking about the BOC and what is new and exciting about the Academy currently. As a former chair of the BOC myself, the BOC is something near and dear to my heart, but it is still something that perhaps some members need to understand better. What is the BOC, and what is the importance of the BOC in delivering excellent services to the membership?

Dr. Mejia: The BOC is really sort of the heart of AAOS. It provides a means of communication from the states and the state societies to the Board of Directors and the membership at large, and vice versa. The BOC is composed of members put forward by the state societies—frequently past presidents of the state societies. The number of members per state is based on the number of orthopaedic surgeons in the state, so it’s similar to Congress as far as representation. We also have representation from the military and Canada. It really runs the gamut of the activity at AAOS, and it’s a means to bring issues that are important to a state forward to the attention of AAOS. It has the added benefit of coordinating action so that states can help each other. Often, one state is facing a problem that another state has already faced.

Dr. Orfaly: The BOC is certainly important in the advocacy realm, as so much that happens that affects our practices and our patients really starts at the state level, right?

Dr. Mejia: Advocacy is a strong component of it, but I think that it’s important to realize that it’s not the only component. One of the things that came out of the BOC is the Longitudinal Self-Assessment for American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) recertification—the online testing. That idea originated in the BOC, and it really came to fruition in less than a 2-year cycle. That has affected the way the majority of us recertify, and it’s had a widely popular, very positive effect. So, an issue can be brought forward [to the BOC] and quickly brought to the attention of AAOS and, if need be, other bodies such as ABOS.

Dr. Orfaly: In 2023, the BOC celebrated its 50th anniversary of existence within the Academy. Are there any other issues, events, or special projects that really stand out as arising from the BOC over the past 50 years?

Dr. Mejia: The past 50 years is a big time to cover, and we’ve certainly been involved in a lot of advocacy issues. As far as something new, along with the 50th anniversary, I think it’s our website. The new BOC website serves as a repository for members and state societies. It has a little library of curated articles. It has a roster of every state’s membership. It has the rosters of all the committees in the BOC. And it has resources that states can use in their advocacy or to increase membership or to increase participation in the BOC. It’s exciting because it’s accessible, and it brings together a lot of the things the BOC has been doing with individual states and makes it accessible to all of them.

Dr. Orfaly: Are there any final thoughts you wanted to share with the membership?

Dr. Mejia: One of the things that the AAOS Board of Directors really likes to do is to be responsive to the membership and be transparent. Our AAOS presidential line is all always happy to hear from members to explain decisions and to put forward new projects that can enhance the value of membership for all our members.

Dr. Orfaly: Well, I know that to be true. I think we have a great team leading the Academy, and as the editor-in-chief of AAOS Now, I certainly echo that in terms of inviting members to submit articles or to inquire about information that we deliver. I really appreciate you spending the time with us today, as well as for your service to AAOS, to our profession, and ultimately to our patients.

Robert M. Orfaly, MD, MBA, FAAOS, is a professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Oregon Health and Science University. He is also the editor-in-chief of AAOS Now and chair of the AAOS Now Editorial Board.