Why did you join AAOS?
It is clear that the AAOS is the tip of the spear for orthopaedic education and the advancement of all things related to musculoskeletal care. I am thankful to my mentors who early on pointed me to AAOS.
How do you define success?
Service. Finishing high school, a local cardiologist awarded my family a need-based scholarship titled the “Martin Luther King Jr. Community of Man and God Scholarship”. This scholarship paid for my education through medical school. The plaque holds these words from Dr. King: “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness”. I want to stand in the light. That is success.
To be clear, that does not mean success comes easily. A sports figure quote will likely fall gently on our orthopaedic ears. Pele is quoted as saying, "Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do."
Do you currently volunteer with an AAOS committee? If yes, which one(s)?
I am not currently a AAOS volunteer, but I see AAOS as the umbrella for all our subspecialty societies. Serving as vice chair for the Industry Relations Committee of the American Academy of Hip and Knee Surgeons, I have seen up close the power of our AAOS – in advocacy, in encouraging industry support for advancement of patient treatments and for support of critically important position statement on Outpatient Joint Replacement. This is proof that we are better together – united for the good of our patients.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
Patients are a massive daily inspiration. To get to watch them push through injury, surgery, and (yes) post-op PT all to get their life back is a pretty awesome “job”.
But if I had to pick one person as my biggest inspiration, it would definitely be Craig Ferrell. He opened a solo orthropaedic practice in the small town of Franklin, TN in 1979. He dedicated himself to his patients and the community – watching the area grow as well as his practice. However, he continued to reach beyond his local practice to make a global impact – including serving as a physician to our USA Olympics equestrian team. Despite his massive success, he took time to personally recruit me as the first partner who was fellowship trained in adult reconstruction. He believed in me. He was killed in a polo accident just a few years later – too soon as he continued to practice. He was loved. He is my hero.
What do you love most about AAOS?
Its intimacy despite its size. How do you get two orthopaedic surgeons to agree – let alone 40,000 of them? How do you get the full involvement of two competing orthopaedic companies – let alone all of them? AAOS has been able to unify us with a clear focus on the patient. That is the secret sauce of AAOS.
What advice would you give to new members of the AAOS?
Engage. Your voice is important and unique. Only by connecting with those of similar practice and those vastly different – will we be able to push musculosketetal care higher and higher.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know.
I have more social media accounts and spend more time on social media then my children. In truth, I restrict their accounts aggressively. While massively beneficial to me for patient education and engagement with professional colleagues (nationally and internationally), I fear its effect over the young.