AAOS Overview

With more than 39,000 members, the AAOS is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS provides education programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal care for patients, and is the authoritative source of information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related issues.

Our Members

Members of the AAOS are health professionals concerned with the diagnosis, care, and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. There are several categories of membership within the AAOS, including domestic orthopaedic surgeons and residents, international orthopaedic surgeons and residents, physician assistants, and allied health and basic science professionals.

Members who are designated Fellows of the Academy have completed four years of medical school and at least five years of an approved residency program in orthopaedics. In addition, they must pass a comprehensive oral and written examination, be certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and submit to stringent membership review processes prior to designation as a Fellow of the Academy.

Learn more about AAOS Membership

Core Initiatives



The Academy enables its members to pursue lifelong learning tailored to any career stage, orthopaedic topic, or sub-specialty. Learning opportunities are provided across the educational spectrum, from online learning and video, to live courses, webinars, and practice examinations to support Maintenance of Certification (MOC).



Annual Scientific Meeting

The Academy's Annual Meeting, which is the largest orthopaedic gathering in the country, provides orthopaedic surgeons and musculoskeletal health professionals with an unparalleled educational experience. A wide range of learning opportunities includes instructional courses, case presentations, symposia, scientific posters, paper presentations, and career development sessions.



Quality & Patient Value

The AAOS is committed to advancing quality health care through scientific research, review, and development of guidelines and tools to enable members to improve patient outcomes. Each year the AAOS focuses on developing and updating a wide range of quality improvement tools, including clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), appropriate use criteria (AUCs), and performance measures.




The Association was formed to carry on advocacy activities on behalf of patients and the orthopaedic profession to ensure the highest quality of musculoskeletal care and access to specialty care. The Association's tax status allows more advocacy activities than were possible by the Academy. The Association is active at both the national and state levels.



The Academy and Association headquarters are located at 9400 W. Higgins Road., Rosemont, IL 60018. More than 4,000 active volunteers, assisted by 250 employees, coordinate the various Academy and Association programs and projects. The Association also has offices at 317 Massachusetts Ave., NE, Washington D.C. 20002.