Gary Stewart, MD, FAAOS

AAOS Committee(s) or Council(s) you currently volunteer with:

AAOS Communications Committee

Why did you choose orthopaedics as your specialty?

I was one of those kids that always knew he wanted to be a doctor or scientist. Using my brain to help or "cure" people always appealed to me. From model cars, puzzles, broken toys as a young child to projects around the house and lawn equipment as a teen, I have always enjoyed fixing things. Combining that with my interest in science and in the human body, a field of medicine that required mechanical dexterity such as orthopaedics seemed almost predetermined. Of course, it wasn't but after a career ending injury playing college athletics (an ortho cliché, I know) and a fortuitous list of mentors paving the way, orthopaedics and more specifically, the specialty of Foot and Ankle Surgery became a natural fit.

Why do you volunteer with AAOS?

It is a tremendous honor and privilege to be in the field of orthopaedics. Our Academy and those who have come before us in this field have worked hard to lay a strong foundation. I am happy to play a small part in supporting their hard work and hopefully adding to it. There is a lot of work to do. Not just the nuts and bolts of pushing forward the science and advancing technologies, but also we need to be aware of the changing financial challenges facing orthopedics, training of our future colleagues, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives to name a few of the many issues as a volunteer we can influence

What advice would you give an AAOS member who is considering applying for an open volunteer position?

I would advise anyone that would like to volunteer to go for it. You can start with a small position to see if you can handle the time commitment. Involvement in the AAOS can be symbiotic in a way. The AAOS benefits from your talents and you benefit from the experience gained. The people I have met while a volunteer have helped to make not just my volunteer experience fun and worthwhile but have also contributed to my satisfaction as an orthopaedic surgeon in general.