Maureen A. O'Shaughnessy, MD, FAAOS

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Maureen A. O'Shaughnessy, MD, FAAOS
Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
Division Chief, Orthopedic Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery
University of Kentucky
Shriner’s Hospital for Children
Lexington, KY

Why did you join AAOS?
I joined AAOS originally for the educational and training opportunities as a young resident. I continue to be a satisfied member as the AAOS remains a highly efficient, supportive and successful organization that is crucial to the professional, skilled practice of orthopedic surgery in the United States.


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

AAOS Patient Safety Committee, Committee Member
AAOS Hand and Wrist Exam Committee, Exam Reviewer
AAOS Resident Curriculum, Hand and Upper Extremity Chapter Author
Ruth Jackson Orthopedic Society, Membership Committee, Co-Chair


How do you define success?
Right now, as a young attending and mother to two girls ages 4 and 1, success to me would be ‘having it all.’ I'm struggling to find the appropriate balance to be the best surgeon, clinician, researcher, educator and mother that I can be. I’m learning the wisdom in the phrase ‘it takes a village’ and learning how to ask family and friends for help. And for now, that increasingly seems to mean ‘out-sourcing’ the home responsibilities as much as I can. I am so thankful to my supportive husband and parents who help with my children to allow me to be there for my patients. I only hope that someday my girls will understand what it means to have an orthopedic surgeon for a mom - a mom who may not be there for all the recitals and bed time routines, but who loves them immensely and makes up for lost time whenever we are together. 


Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
I am fortunate to have many mentors, role models and loved ones whom I admire and respect and to whom I owe immense gratitude. I’ll choose to honor my mentor Dr. Marco Rizzo with this question. Dr. Rizzo is a tremendous surgeon, clinician and scholar, one who writes and speaks prolifically, and I believe is an inspiration to all students and fellow surgeons he encounters. However, above all, Dr. Rizzo is an incredible human being, one who sacrifices of himself to promote others at any cost. He is generous, kind, warm-hearted, honest to a fault, and brilliant. I aspire to one day have just a fraction of the career and legacy of successful trainees that Dr. Rizzo has accomplished.


How has the AAOS helped you throughout your career?
The AAOS stands for quality and professionalism. It has always been the source I’ve turned to for trusted information and resources.


What advice would you give to new members of AAOS?
Get involved by volunteering to serve on a committee. Not only will you get to help complete important work for the academy, you will have the pleasure of meeting new people. I have learned so much from working with fellow orthopedic surgeons from all different subspecialities, parts of the country and levels of expertise whom I would not have had the opportunity to meet if it weren’t for my volunteer work. There is no other place to have such an incredible networking and collaboration opportunity. The diversity of training, region and specialty training improves our ability to get remarkable tasks accomplished.


Tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know?
I am 100% Irish but am fluent in Spanish, thanks to a gap year spent teaching English while living in Madrid Spain, followed by four years of medical school in Miami Florida. When people ask me where I’m from, I say Minnesota, which interestingly in Spanish sounds like Venezuela. I met a Venezuelan patient who told me that American speakers hear the opposite – when she says she is from Venezuela they hear she is from Minnesota! I enjoy the ability to converse with my Spanish-speaking patients in their native language as I find that much can get lost in communication.