Looking Back on a Successful Annual Meeting and Ahead to More Educational Opportunities
By George Zimmerman, DO, FAOAO
This presidential message comes from my desk now almost two months since my inauguration as the 74th president of the AOAO. I hope everyone had a content and blessed Thanksgiving holiday and are thrilled and joyfully awaiting the Christmas and New Year season.
I am extremely proud and elated to inform you that our Academy's 2015 Annual Meeting at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs was a huge success. We had 874 registered and a substantial number of sponsors and exhibitors.
Our conference entitled "Surgical Optimization Using Past, Present, and Future Techniques" provided our members with outstanding didactic lectures, case presentations, and discussions that everyone enjoyed. Hopefully all were able to take a sampling of new information home with them and apply it to their practices.
We offered two additional educational workshops this year. The Milestones Workshop, which was very well attended, provided up-to-date information to assist program directors and faculty with the transition to the single accreditation system. The second workshop, CO*RE REMS, an in-depth informative lecture for prescribers who treat patients with ER/LA opioid analgesics, was unfortunately cancelled due to the speaker’s travel complications. This lecture will be offered again next spring during the Postgraduate Seminar, and can also be viewed online.
We were extremely delighted to have Alison Levine, a mountaineer, best-selling author, and a motivational speaker, deliver our keynote address. Her extremely well attended speech centered on her Mount Everest experience and how it changed her life.
Conversion to the single accreditation system continues to positively progress forward for our training programs. The AOA appears to be very content and pleased with the progress of our orthopedic programs as well as with the osteopathic profession as a whole. Several of our residency programs are diligently completing applications and documentation, as well as preparing for site visits and evaluations, so that they may meet the requirements and standards of the ACGME.
OMED 2015 was held this year in Orlando, Florida. The meeting was well attended by osteopathic physicians from the United States and around the world. One of the keynote addresses was delivered Dr. John Becher, AOA President, rolling out his osteopathic awareness campaign, "The D.O. Difference; Doctors That Do." This is a public relations campaign to make D.O.'s and osteopathic medicine a household term. The AOA feels that the time is now for osteopathic medicine in general and that we need to inform and educate the public about osteopathic medicine. The AOA has created a full-court press publicity campaign with this mission in mind. Be prepared to see news and feature articles about osteopathic medicine in the press to include magazines such as Men's and Women's Health, People Magazine, Oprah's O Magazine, and Runner's World. The time is now and the time is ours as osteopathic surgeons and physicians is the chant of the AOA leadership.
Dr. Lee Vanderlugt and I have recently had the pleasure of taking part in the AOA's Advocacy for Healthy Partnerships (AHP) Conference. This was a meeting of all the state leaders as well as the leaders of the specialty academies that took place in Phoenix, Arizona from November 19-21. This conference covered important political and educational information pertinent to the osteopathic profession. A discussion of governmental advocacy, marketing, research, communication, and leadership took place as well as other topics. Keynote speakers provided meaningful information and sparked optimistic thoughts and ideas about the future of health care and medicine.
Stay informed about the educational opportunities offered by the AOAO. There are four different offerings in 2016. A surgical skills lab will take place on January 8 at the Marian University Evans Center’s Anatomy Laboratory in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is a one-day surgical skills lab designed for our members in general, sports, or shoulder sub-specialty practice. It is a great opportunity to learn or advance arthroscopic surgical operative techniques and earn 7 AOA category 1A CME credits. At this writing there are only three openings left for the lab, so register now!
The 56th Postgraduate Seminar is scheduled for April 8-10, 2016 at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. Please join us at this luxurious resort for our conference entitled "Contemporary Solutions for Age-Old Problems." Our CME Committee has worked diligently to provide thought-provoking lectures, seminars, and case presentations. Registration for this post-graduate meeting can currently be completed online. The Osteopathic Orthopedic Educators’ Course will also take place at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa on Thursday, April 7. The schedule for the course will be available in January.
The AOAO’s 75th anniversary celebration and Annual Meeting will be at the Marriott Marquis, Washington DC October 13-15 2016. Please join me and the Board of Directors in celebrating 75 years of osteopathic orthopedic surgery. Our 75th Anniversary Task Force and the CME Committee have collaborated to provide our membership with an educational and social event that cannot be compared to any of our other annual meetings. We will bring back the black tie formal dinner banquet with live music and a silent auction. We plan to acknowledge all past presidents, as well as honor our new deserving fellows and all other award recipients. It will be an evening to commemorate and remember.
Finally, I strongly encourage all of our members to become involved in our academy. I ask that you take the time to volunteer and serve on committees and/or speak or moderate to help educate your peers. Consider serving in a leadership position and helping guide our academy into the future. The future of AOAO is bright, but it will take a devoted and dedicated membership to allow us to prosper.
I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year.