Professional Compliance Program

AAOS is urging all Fellows to vote in favor of a proposed amendment to the Standards of Professionalism (SOP) on Professional Relationships. This amendment would add wording that harassment, bullying, and discrimination are unacceptable behaviors that fall below the professional conduct standard. The exact wording of the proposed amendment is in italics below.

“An orthopedic surgeon shall conduct himself or herself in a professional manner in interactions with colleagues or other healthcare professionals. This includes, but is not limited to, avoiding behavior that is harassing, bullying or discriminatory.”

  • The amendment states that the AAOS does not condone behavior that is wrong and reinforces our commitment to foster a culture of mutual respect and professionalism.
  • The amendment has undergone an extensive review by the BOS and BOC, the Board of Directors, Joint BOC/BOS Professionalism Committee, AAOS Committee on Professionalism, AAOS Judiciary Committee, and AAOS Bylaws Committee, all of which overwhelmingly recommended its adoption.
  • The amendment does not alter the rigorous grievance process already in place to protect the rights of all parties, nor does it establish a new SOP category.
  • The Professional Compliance Program is an AAOS member benefit and does not accept grievances from patients, healthcare staff, employees, the public, or non-AAOS member physicians.

Soon ballots will be distributed, and we urge you to vote for this amendment and show that AAOS supports fair treatment and professional conduct for all members. Your vote counts!

Vote “YES” if you believe there is no place for harassment, bullying and discrimination in orthopaedics.

For additional background on this proposed update, click here.

AAOS launched the Professional Compliance Program at the 2004 Annual Meeting in response to the Membership's desire for a means to address the issue of inappropriate or fraudulent expert witness testimony. Since its inception, the program has introduced several initiatives and has developed procedures to review, hear and adjudicate professional compliance grievances based upon six Standards of Professionalism. Now more than ten years old, the Professional Compliance Program continues to have the strong support of the Membership. 

If you have questions or comments about the AAOS Professional Compliance Program, please email

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Frequently asked questions about the Professional Compliance Program are addressed in the FAQs.