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Presidential Update: September 8, 2020

September 8, 2020

I hope you all had a relaxing Labor Day weekend. It seems that this summer never even got on track and now our attention is already focused on the upcoming fall. The same is true of your Academy. We are less than one year away from the 2021 Annual Meeting. AAOS staff and volunteers are working hard to produce a safe and engaging gathering for all attendees, including our members and industry partners. The meeting will remain at the San Diego Convention Center and will be held from August 31 to September 4, 2021. The scheduling shift from March to August allows additional time to craft a truly memorable experience. The Annual Meeting Committee, led by Andrew Schmidt, MD, FAAOS, is doing exactly that. Sue McSorley and the AAOS Convention and Exhibits team have spent a tremendous amount of time moving the meeting, and I thank them for their efforts.

The Annual Meeting continues to be the prime venue for high-quality education and innovation. We have received more than 7,000 abstract submissions to date and, due to the rescheduling, abstract and application submissions will remain open through October 1, 2020. Please visit aaos.org/abstracts to learn more about the submission process. The Central Program Committee is working tirelessly to craft a stellar education program that will help you sharpen your skills, improve patient outcomes, and achieve excellence. A variety of learning formats—including traditional lectures, expert debates, and collaborative case presentations—will allow you to build a unique learning path based on your preferred learning style, practice specialty, and career stage. There will always be a place for in-person learning and human interaction. There are no guarantees that the pandemic will allow us to hold our meeting next August; however, there is a far greater likelihood that a successful in-person meeting can occur in August 2021 than in March 2021.

We made the decision to move the Annual Meeting based on concern for the safety of the participants and the importance of having a 2021 in-person meeting. However, we understood that moving the meeting would impact many people, including the specialty societies and our industry partners. Immediately after the Board voted to reschedule the meeting, the AAOS Presidential Line called all 23 specialty society presidents to inform them of the decision and convey the rationale for the change. Not unexpectedly, many specialty societies raised legitimate concerns about holding Specialty Day on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. We listened and took action.

I assembled a work group of members to look at options for moving Specialty Day. Although the group is currently working through different scenarios, I can tell you that Specialty Day will not be held on Saturday. The vast majority of the specialty societies have committed to participate in the meeting and are supportive of moving Specialty Day. We thank them for their support and willingness to work with us.

I also spoke to the CEOs of nearly all of our major industry partners. Each of them was grateful for our early decision to move the meeting. They all reiterated their commitment to participate. Much like us, they are using this time to reimagine what their participation in an exhibit looks like, but all expressed a belief in the importance of in-person meetings. The Academy has worked long and hard with industry on establishing a less transactional and more strategic relationship. The unwavering commitment of industry to the meeting indicates that our efforts are working and that our relationship is evolving into a true partnership.

Again, I cannot thank the Annual Meeting Committee and the Council on Education enough for their sustained efforts and expertise in rescheduling our Annual Meeting. I look forward to seeing all of you in San Diego next August. As always, the event is poised to deliver the best education, research, and innovation across musculoskeletal health. Sign up to be the first to receive the latest meeting details and information as it becomes available.

Thank you,

Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS
AAOS President