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

2023 Diversity Award Nomination Form

AAOS Awards Policy

Cato T. Laurencin, MD, Receives 2022 AAOS Diversity Award

Cato T. Laurencin, MD, PhD, FAAOS, was the recipient of the AAOS 2022 Diversity Award. Dr. Laurencin is being honored for his outstanding commitment to making orthopaedics more representative of and accessible to diverse patient populations.

“I am very proud to receive this award,” said Dr. Laurencin, the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Connecticut. “It recognizes my longstanding work promoting racial justice and equity and gender equity in the profession and the world.”

When asked how he has contributed most to recruiting people from diverse ethnicities or genders, Dr. Laurencin said, “It is all about empowerment and creating an environment of fairness. Given those things, BIPOC [Black, indigenous, and people of color] can thrive.”

Learn more about Dr. Laurencin and the 2022 Diversity Award

Previous AAOS Diversity Award Winners

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