From the President: The AOSSM Tradition of Excellence and Innovation

I have always admired the pursuit of excellence and innovation. I was introduced to the AOSSM early in my career. Following the wise lead of my mentors, I embraced it wholeheartedly as my sports medicine home and the vehicle with which I could grow professionally and strive to be as good as I could be for my patients, my craft, and my profession. My respect has continued to grow over the years for the Society, its members and their collective commitment to excellence in the practice, research, and education of sports medicine.

The socio-economic landscape of medicine has changed since I was an orthopedic resident at the University of Pittsburgh and a fellow at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. There is constant evolution in the ways in which we must educate and support the members of AOSSM. As president, I am committed to providing thoughtful leadership to further the Society’s responsiveness in support of our members while anticipating their needs in the ever-changing environment of our profession.

Our strength and relevance as a Society will continue to grow as we proactively partner with organizations across the sports medicine spectrum. By leveraging the experience, expertise and perspective of our diverse league of colleagues, we will broaden access to world class education and open doors for creative collaboration.

Fostering excellence, vitality and leadership in the next generation of sports medicine physicians, is another high priority for the Society. Working with the Council of Delegates (COD) and sports medicine fellowship programs, we plan to develop a Young Surgeon’s Advisory Committee to help engage our young members and support this endeavor. With a member-driven agenda and a wealth of available knowledge, the AOSSM will reinforce its role as the most relevant and responsive resource for graduate and continuing medical education in orthopaedic sports medicine.

One example of how these priorities are coalescing is the OrthoBiologics: Integrating Biologics and Clinical Ultrasound into Your Practice course this October, chaired by Brian Cole, MD, MBA, Jason Dragoo, MD, and Rachel Frank, MD. A recently-forged strategic alliance with the ON Foundation is allowing AOSSM to harness this new dimension of technical expertise and provide a hands-on learning experience for sports medicine physicians from around the globe, including two orthopaedic sports medicine fellows whose participation is assisted by scholarships.

We welcome the ON Foundation to our aggregate of forward-thinking collaborators, which has for years included the National Hockey League, National Football League, Major League Soccer, American Academy Neal ElAttrache, MD of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, to name just a few. We expect the breadth and depth of this list of partners to grow as we continue to develop mutually beneficial initiatives between AOSSM and technology innovators, industry and other sports medicine related societies, such as the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Sports Physical Therapy Section, and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

Implementation of our refreshed research agenda led by our research Chair Matthew Provencher, MD, is another practical example of how AOSSM and its members are expanding the forefront of evidence-based patient care. The agenda’s well-defined strategic and operational goals ensure transparency, communication and flexibility, for the development of actionable new science and innovative technologies to improve safety, prevent injuries and explore biologic enhancement of tissue healing and emerging issues and opportunities.

As individuals, we are propelled by the collegial community created by AOSSM. Our active engagement enriches our personal and professional lives while our contributions of time, talent and treasure, pay it forward to tomorrow’s sports medicine pioneers. Our shared success is rooted in the pursuit of the AOSSM mission and goals. Together, we raise a voice that speaks on our Society’s behalf and advocates for the best interest of our patients. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of athletes and sport enthusiasts. Together, we can build on a 46-year foundation of profound excellence through education and innovation.

Neal ElAttrache, MD

From the Fall 2018 issue of Sports Medicine Update