Our Mission and Core Values – To Keep You in the Game


Our mission is to be the premier global, sports medicine organization representing the interests of orthopaedic surgeons and other professionals who provide comprehensive health services for the care of athletes and active people of all ages and abilities. We cultivate evidence-based knowledge, provide extensive educational programming, and promote emerging research that advances the science and practice of sports medicine. As a 501c3 medical professional society, our promise to keep you in the game is defined by our culture and core values, including: 

Quality Patient Information – The cornerstone of our patient outreach
Teamwork – We lead through example and mentoring
Integrity – We advocate and emulate high ethical conduct in all that we do
Transparency – We embrace open, two-way dialogue with our members
Scientific Excellence – We pursue rigorous evaluation of our programs
Innovation – We develop new ideas in all aspects of our work




A Look at the Individuals Behind the Society's Inception

Learn more about the Society's history with these recollections captured from AOSSM members in the links below.

The History of AOSSM

1964: A New Era of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine

AOSSM originally grew out of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Committee on Sports Medicine. The AAOS was organized in 1964 with Jack Hughston, MD as chairman. Throughout the next seven years, there was a growing interest in orthpaedic sports medicine. One member, Dr. Don O’Donoghue, approached the committee with the concept of forming a new society in affiliation with AAOS.

1971: The Beginning of AOSSM

In December 1971, several orthoapedic surgeons who had an interest in sports medicine received a meeting invitation from Dr. O’Donoghue. On January 30, 1972, AOSSM had it’s very first meeting in Washington D.C. Seventy-five orthopaedists were invited and became the Founding Members.

1973: The First Annual Meeting

The Society’s first annual meeting was held in conjunction with the AAOS Annual Meeting in Las Vegas in 1973. During this meeting bylaws, member application requirements, and additional committees were established. Founding member, Dr. O’Donoghue, passed his presidential role to Dr. Joseph Godfrey. This leadership transition began the AOSSM presidential line and a tradition that continues each year. The annual meeting has developed into an international event where members discuss the latest research, discover new ideas, and recognize recipients of Research Awards and Grants.

1975: The American Journal of Sports Medicine

In 1975, AOSSM purchased the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Throughout the last 30 years, the journal has become one of the most prominent sports medicine journals in the world. Additionally, AOSSM began developing publications such as newsletters, journals, etc.

1985: Growing Scientific Collaboration

From the start, AOSSM has provided new opportunities for physicians to meet and exchange ideas. Whether it’s research, clinical problems, or publications, the organization created new scientific outlets in sports medicine. For example, the Traveling Fellowship program began in 1985 and has fostered collaboration and communication among members around the world.

2020: A Record Breaking Year

In 2019, the Million Dollar Drive campaign raised $2.24 million. The fundraiser was initiated by Neal S. ElAttrache, MD, during his presidential term. Two well-known philanthropists, Stanley F. Druckenmiller and Kenneth Langone, were so impressed by the work and members of AOSSM that they pledged to match every dollar raised by the Society during the campaign up to one million. The Million Dollar Drive officially closed December 1, 2020 and resulted in the largest member fundraising campaign in the history of the Society.

AOSSM Today

The generosity of the sports medicine community continues to fund the growth of the profession through education, research, knowledge, and innovation. Our member donations support the long-term development of the profession for generations to come. You can make an impact on the future of sports medicine - Donate Today!

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