Message from the President
AOAO Presidential Speech, Annual Awards Ceremony, October 17, 2013 San Diego, California
It is a great honor and privilege to serve for the next year as president of our Academy. It is humbling to me to represent such caring individuals, such fine surgeons and such knowledgeable doctors. I will strive to continue the fine examples set forth by my predecessors.
This year, like many others, promises challenges which we will need to embrace, evaluate and endure. I have no doubt that we will find a way to flourish. We are, and have been, blessed with a Board of Directors who are intelligent and progressive orthopedic surgeons, who volunteer when needed and excel when asked. Our Academy has recently formed the AOAO Foundation to help us to advance the education of our young membership. We hope to expand our teaching beyond the constraints and uncertainty of the ACGME changes and empower our membership in their pursuits of orthopedic knowledge and fellowship.
I would encourage all of you this year to make some progress towards a spirit of mentoring. At a friend's wedding years ago I remember the Rabbi's simple words to all of us: Be meaningful. Please share your skills with someone; shine by reflected light. As Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant." Your skills in life and in work were mentored from someone. Please share your skills, please share your business knowledge, please share your experiences. Everyone in this Academy is privileged to be here no matter how bumpy the road your journey traveled.
Our founding membership of 10 in 1941 is now over 1700 strong. We continue to grow in numbers each year, more programs open up, more graduates from those programs. We will soon have more D.O. fellowships to sub specialize our family. This Academy is important to represent our needs and concerns as it has and as it will be. Please get involved locally or nationally, please stay involved, and please encourage others to do so also.
During the next year I will do my best to represent our Academy, you and your needs in the best light possible.
I would like to again thank my wife Cheryl, my daughter Elizabeth and my son Steven for their support throughout this journey. I would like to thank my mentors, those at Hillcrest through my residency and my partners in practice, Dr. Pat Mitchell, Dr. Jim Brandt, and Dr. Fred Tonnos.
I thank all of you who have helped me to serve this Academy.
-- Philip T. Schmitt, D.O.