Matthew Schmitz, MD, FAAOS

Why did you choose orthopaedics as your specialty?

I've wanted to be a surgeon ever since I was four years old.  My grandfather was a oncology general surgeon in downtown Chicago and was my hero growing up. I always wanted to be just like him. A leader, an educator, a surgeon. My involvement in collegiate athletics led to my first experience in orthopaedics and I could never imaging doing anything else. Helping young athletes, improving function, participation as a team physician are all aspect I fell in love with at an early age and continue to this day.

Why do you volunteer with AAOS?

As a military surgeon, I wanted to get involved with my Academy.  I relish leadership opportunities and feel that the AAOS is a fantastic leadership opportunity.  Through committee involvement, the Leadership Fellows Program, the Board of Specialties, there are ample opportunities to get involved and help shape the Academy from within.

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

Don't consider applying...Just apply. And if you don't get selected your first time, apply again and again until you do. I think it took me two or three times before I was selected for a committee. That has led to long lasting friendships and opened the door to countless other leadership and volunteer opportunities within the AAOS.