Barry N. Messinger, MD, FAAOS

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Barry N. Messinger, MD, FAAOS
President, Orthopedic Solutions to Surgical Access, Inc. -OSSA
OSSA Office
Manchester, Connecticut and
San Marcos, Guatemala

Why did you join AAOS?

In private practice and a UConn Team Orthopedist and later an Orthopedic Hospitalist I joined AAOS for many great reasons- the educational resources helped me as an orthopedic surgeon refine my skills and learn new ones through books, journals, conferences, workshops and practice exams; AAOS also provides exceptional office practice resources for financial, coding and administrative updates; as well as forums to interact with worldwide leaders and colleagues in orthopedic surgery. AAOS also provides a resource for connecting with job listings to recruit orthopedic surgeons.

Most recently AAOS has provided educational and equipment resources to help with residency training of new orthopedists in Guatemala utilizing international AAOS standards and subspecialty connections.

How do you define success?

Success is being able to set a plan and purpose for yourself and then use your skills. training, passion, enthusiasm, optimism, and flexibility to realize that plan and purpose.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

I’ve had many who inspired me during my life. My parents who encouraged a good education     and acceptance of all people. Dr Harry Gosling, Dr. John Fulkerson and all my orthopaedic mentors and colleagues who have provided positive role models for each aspect of my professional career. My wife and family who continuously inspire me to be the best person I can be while offering support to others who have less.  

How has the AAOS helped you throughout your career?

Always having resources available for education, skills training, research and best practice protocols provided by world class educators help keep me up-to-date within the constantly improving specialties in Orthopedic Surgery,

AAOS personnel such as Scarlett Crawford, Lynne Haase, and Ro Simon provided me with resources in Spanish for the Orthopedic residency and community orthopaedists I work with in Guatemala, and made it easier for me to bring Guatemalan Orthopedic residents to AAOS courses such as Resident Course in Arthroscopy, and the 2017 AAOS Annual meeting in San Diego.

AAOS Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured-used to teach fire fighter/first responders and ER staff in Guatemala.

Through articles in AAOS Now, stories from inspiring colleagues working in International orthopaedic settings donating their time, expertise, and equipment to elevate care of patients without resources around the world.

I utilized the great AAOS administrative resources for running a private practice, such as practice management seminars, Karen Zupko’s coding resources, Workers Comp Disability Guidelines, and best practice protocols.

What advice would you give to new members of AAOS?

Utilize all the many resources of the AAOS Academy to stay current.

Always be willing to put pride aside to do what is best for your patients and your staff. Prepare and visualize before every surgery and ask for help when needed, have a “back-door procedure” available during surgery if things aren’t going as planned, and know your limits.

Also, retirement doesn’t have to end your orthopaedic career; there are many ways to use your accumulated experience and knowledge to help medical students, residents, younger physicians and health professionals develop skills, both in the US and internationally elevating healthcare delivery so that many with fewer resources can benefit.

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

I’ve always enjoyed volunteer opportunities; from teaching people with disabilities while in high school, working with inner-city Boy Scouts in college, helping to begin Charter Oak Terrace Health Center Hartford in medical school, hospital work in Mexico following medical school and I have participated in multiple international medical trips throughout the years. Currently, our OSSA non-profit organization finds good used medical equipment, new manikins and  uses available resources to teach arthroscopy, AOTrauma skills, UCSF IGOT skin flap techniques, CPR, ATLS, ACLS, PHTLS to doctors, nurses, and fire-fighter/first responders in western Guatemala where resources are limited.

It’s been a pleasure working with visiting international Orthopedists Dr. Gustavo Rincon of Colombia, Dr. Alex Vaisman of Chile, Dr. Jose Luis Balderas of Mexico, Dr Jack Dawson of Houston, Texas as well as Guatemalans Dr Rodrigo Ramazzini, Dra. Ana Zambrano and Dr. Jose Xicara to teach the San Marcos residents.

As leader of OSSA, I am proud to have started the first arthroscopy training, the first simulation lab, the first Guatemalan residency with ABOS/AAOS modules, the first residency- run Ponseti Clinic, the first CPR/ACLS/ATLS training in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.

And it’s an honor to be named Humanitarian of the Year 2020 by the Connecticut Orthopedic Society.

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And I’ve had some fun spreading our OSSA message such as using elastic sling-shot to send “OSSA/Save a Life, Learn CPR” T-shirts into the surprised crowds at professional soccer games in San Marcos.

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