Evalina L. Burger, MD, FAAOS

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Evalina L. Burger, MD, FAAOS
Professor and Chair
Robert D’Ambrosia Endowed Chair of Orthopedics
Department of Orthopedics School of Medicine
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
The Spine Center
University of Colorado Hospital
Aurora, CO

Why did you join AAOS?

AAOS is the organization to represent our specialty. There is strength in numbers and the AAOS has always been a leader in practice reform, advocacy, teaching, and assuring high quality care to all patients. I cannot imagine how we would be able to negotiate the insurance landscape, government demands, and the continuous CME requirements without such a strong and well-balanced organization.

Do you currently volunteer with a committee? If yes, which one(s)?

AAOS Adult Spine Evaluation Committee, March 2019-March 2022

AAOS Adult Spine Program Committee and Adult Spine Evaluation Committee Member, 2019-2022

AAOS Bylaws Committee Chair, October 2020-March 2023

How do you define success?

Success is dependent of the standard you set for yourself. To acknowledge success might breed complacency. It is therefore hard for me to define it as I always push the envelope to the next level. I do not think of myself as successful. As surgeons, a part of our critical thinking is to judge. It has been hard for me to judge my success as I am always judging myself and see room for improvement in everything I do.

As a department chair having a cohesive department that achieve in all the pillars of academic medicine could be viewed as success. I am humbled to lead such a group of talented people here at the University of Colorado.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

My father was my biggest inspiration in my life. He always supported me. He acknowledged that I was driven and never dampened it. He never had the opportunities he gave me and my sister. He always motived me by telling me “You can do it” and never lost faith.

How has the AAOS helped you throughout your career?

The AAOS has allowed me to connect with amazing thought leaders in my field of Spine surgery. I have learned from their leadership styles and their innovations. I have learned that they endeavor to keep us up to date on the newest technologies. The AAOS provides guidance in negotiating difficult situations like COVID-19. 

What advice would you give to new members of AAOS?

Get involved, dive in. Introduce yourself and start networking! Ask questions! Stay on top of your profession and advocate for your discipline!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know?

I am a drummer and I love to hunt!