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BOLD Impact on Early Career Orthopaedic Surgeons

By Brian Lau, MD, Travis Dekker, MD, Clark Bulleit, BS

    • Emerging Leaders

Life as an early career Orthopaedic surgeon is a demanding and time-consuming journey.

Striking a balance between building a clinical practice, spearheading research endeavors, and staying involved in education can often feel like an overwhelming challenge. Amid these responsibilities, investing time in one's future career growth might seem like a distant dream. Additionally, it can be hard to find the right guidance for personal and professional growth that puts you on a path to emerge as a leader in the field.

The BOLD cohort gathered for their kick-off session at the AOSSM 2023 Annual Meeting. The group consisted of 18 carefully selected playmakers, marking the beginning of their BOLD journey.

AOSSM has remained a steadfast ally to young surgeons and has developed many innovative programs over the years to help them progress professionally. This year, AOSSM took their support a step further and launched the BOLD (Boosting Orthopaedic Leaders’ Development) Program year at the 2023 Annual Meeting. This program provides an innovative pathway, tailored to early-career orthopaedic surgeons’ needs, and paves the way for their emergence as influential leaders in the field. It not only equips them with the technical skills required to lead teams and manage clinical practices but also fosters a network of peers and mentors who stand ready to provide ongoing support and guidance.

The BOLD Program Comprises Three Foundational Elements:

1. Executive Leadership Education: Participants gain access to world-class leadership education, equipping them with the skills necessary to lead effectively, inspire their teams, and navigate the intricate landscape of sports medicine. These skills transcend the surgical suite, proving invaluable in managing clinical practices and spearheading pioneering research initiatives.

The winning team of the BOLD group scavenger hunt, a team-building and social event held after the leadership session during the 2023 Annual Meeting.

2. Collaborative Group Projects: The program encourages participants to work collaboratively, allowing them to apply their newfound leadership skills to real-world projects. These projects serve as invaluable training grounds, offering practical experience in team leadership, strategic decision-making, and problem-solving. This prepares them to tackle the multifaceted challenges that characterize their careers.

3. 1:1 Executive Coaching and Mentoring: Personalized coaching and mentoring lie at the heart of the BOLD Program. Early career orthopaedic surgeons receive guidance and support from seasoned leaders in the field. These mentors share insights, wisdom, and advice, offering a compass to navigate the intricacies of their careers.

The BOLD Program is an excellent addition to AOSSM's impressive list of opportunities, including the innovative Nightcap Series, which provides a platform for young professionals to connect informally. Moreover, the new resident and fellows session at the annual meeting further seeks to engage younger members to further enhances the support system for young orthopaedic surgeons.

The life of an early career orthopaedic surgeon is undoubtedly challenging, but AOSSM has developed a plethora of tools to help them succeed. The BOLD Program is a testament to AOSSM's commitment to nurturing the leaders of tomorrow in the field of orthopaedic surgery.

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