We will be performing site maintenance on AAOS.org on February 29th, from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM CST which may cause sitewide downtime. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Diversity Award

The Diversity Award recognizes excellence in promoting diversity in orthopaedics. The Diversity Award identifies living Academy Fellows and Emeritus members who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding commitment to making orthopaedics more representative of and accessible to the diverse population it serves.

This award is presented each year at the AAOS Annual Meeting. Recipients receive a $5,000 honorarium.

Candidates for the award will be evaluated for activities that include:

  • Promotion of diversity
  • Actively working to reduce obstacles that prevent greater numbers of women and under-represented ethnic groups from entering the field of orthopaedics in the U.S.
  • Acting as a role model to colleagues and leading by example in promoting diversity
  • Supporting diversity-related legislation, activities, and issues in health care
  • Making a lasting impact on the profession's diversity
  • Mentoring
  • Recruiting and encouraging diverse ethnic and/or female medical students and pre-med students to pursue careers in orthopaedic surgery
  • Sponsoring, mentoring, and/or guiding culturally diverse and female orthopaedic residents and young orthopaedists
  • Culturally Competent Care
  • Staffing clinics that provide musculoskeletal care to underserved patient populations
  • Teaching culturally competent care in a clinical and/or institutional setting
  • Acting in a leadership role in eliminating disparities in health care and/or promoting culturally competent care
  • Writing and publishing materials that relate to culturally competent care and/or healthcare disparities

Who is Eligible?

  • Must be an AAOS Active Academy Fellow or Emeritus Fellow in good standing
  • Cannot be a current member of the AAOS Diversity Advisory Board
  • Cannot have served on the AAOS Diversity Advisory Board, as voting member or chair, within the three years prior to the award year
  • Cannot be a current member of the AAOS Board of Directors
  • Cannot have served on the AAOS Board of Directors within the three years prior to the award year
  • If selected to receive the award, the candidate agrees to attend the AAOS Annual Meeting at his or her own expense
  • Agrees to release his or her image and an approved biography of his or her diversity activities for publicity purposes
  • Must be nominated by a sponsor

Who May Nominate/Sponsor a Nominee?

  • AAOS Fellows in good standing, Candidate members eligible for fellowship, and Emeritus Fellows
  • Orthopaedic residents who have directly and professionally benefited from the activities of the nominee
  • Sponsor cannot be a current member of the AAOS Diversity Advisory Board
  • Sponsor cannot have served on the AAOS Diversity Advisory Board, as voting member or chair, within the three years prior to the award year
  • Sponsor cannot be a current member of the AAOS Board of Directors

2024 Diversity Award Nomination Form (closed)

AAOS Awards Policy

Mary I. O’Connor, MD, Receives 2023 AAOS Diversity Award

The AAOS presented its 2023 Diversity Award to Mary I. O'Connor, MD, FAOA, FAAHKS, FAAOS. The Diversity Award recognizes members of the AAOS who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding commitment to making orthopaedics more representative of, and accessible to, diverse patient populations. A nationally recognized leader who has championed diversity in medicine, surgery and orthopaedics, Dr. O’Connor is professor emerita of orthopaedics at Mayo Clinic, as well as past professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at Yale School of Medicine. She is co-founder and chief medical officer of Vori Health, an award-winning, nationwide, virtual specialty medical practice designed to treat musculoskeletal pain more effectively.

“I am honored to receive the AAOS Diversity Award and accept it on behalf of all who are striving to make our profession one that provides the best care for every patient. We know that health disparities are real and impact those we serve,” Dr. O’Connor said. “Our continued efforts to increase the diversity of our profession and address our own biases remain essential to progress.”

Learn more about Dr. O’Connor and the 2023 Diversity Award

Previous AAOS Diversity Award Winners

Cato T. Laurencin, MD, PhD, FAAOS
2022 Diversity Award Winner

Lisa L. Lattanza, MD, FAOA, FAAOS
2021 Diversity Award Winner

James A. Hill, MD, FAAOS
2020 Diversity Award Winner

Michael L. Parks, MD, FAAOS
2019 Diversity Award Winner

Mark Gebhardt, MD, FAAOS
2018 Diversity Award Winner

Richard E. Grant, MD, FAAOS
2017 Diversity Award Winner