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From the President: Leading for Discovery

By Dean C. Taylor, MD, COL (ret) USA

    • From the President

Innovation through discovery is a hallmark of sports medicine. Our patients continue to discover new ways to achieve their goals, and to innovate alongside them, sports medicine surgeons creatively discover new ways to manage athletes’ physical and psychological well-being to keep them in the game.

AOSSM is “Leading Discovery” through our robust Research Agenda. A pillar of our Strategic Plan, our research program empowers orthopaedic sports medicine surgeons to discover evidence-based techniques and therapies that improve clinical outcomes for athletes of all ages and abilities.

As I mentioned in the Fall 2023 issue of Sports Medicine Update, AOSSM is committed to leading sports medicine, and Leading Discovery (along with Leading for the Future, Leading Learning, and Leading Collaboratively) is one of our four strategic initiatives this year. As a Society, we have worked consistently to create a community to lead discovery through research presentation and discussion, recognition through awards, and support from research grants.

I am awed by the continued growth of exceptional research presented at the AOSSM meetings, and published in the Society's esteemed family of journals. I especially look forward to learning from the presentations at the 2024 Annual Meeting, July 10-14 in Denver. Led by Co-Chairs Alison Toth, MD, and Jonathan Dickens, MD, the Program Committee is putting together an amazing Annual Meeting scientific program after recently completing the Herculean task of reviewing a record 900+ abstract submissions. And, under the venerated leadership of Editor-in-Chief Bruce Reider, MD, the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, Sports Health (edited by Edward Wojtys, MD) and the Video Journal of Sports Medicine (edited by Steven Brockmeier, MD) continue to enhance and disseminate the best innovative discoveries in sports medicine.

Creating a venue where discovery is supported and celebrated is a primary goal of our research awards. Personally, our research teams at West Point and Duke University have benefitted greatly from the recognition the AOSSM awards provide for the discoveries we have made. I encourage each of you to apply for Society awards to help spread the word on your latest sports medicine discoveries.

In addition to touting outstanding research, AOSSM has led the way in financially supporting new discoveries in the field. Our Society has contributed nearly $7 million in funding through grants, awards and other programming in its decades of investment. Many of these efforts are amplified by collaboration with likeminded organizations, with the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, the Aircast Foundation and JRF Ortho among our current partners. Particularly notable is the award of two $450,000 multi-center research grants in 2022 and 2023 with major contributions from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, OREF and the Aircast Foundation.

In November, we celebrated another of these impactful collaborations. AOSSM joined the Society for Military Orthopaedic Surgeons (SOMOS), and the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) in a new grant program aimed at advancing research in orthopaedics, with special focus on the military and general populations. The Military Advanced Surgical Training Program (MAST) grant awarded $200,000 to Andrew J. Sheean, MD from the Brooke Army Medical Center and his study, Defining the Impact of General Mental Health, Resilience, and Pain Catastrophizing on Return to Duty and Clinical Outcomes After ACL Reconstruction. Dr. Sheean is an early-career member of AOSSM, a Playmaker in the BOLD (Boosting Orthopaedic Leaders’ Development) Program, serves on the AOSSM Research Committee, and is very active in our partnership with the SOMOS Extremity War Injury (EWI) conference. At EWI XVII in January 2024, we look forward to forward to hearing more about Dr. Sheean’s research and that of the many surgeons and institutions dedicated to supporting those who have served our country.

Perhaps our most valuable collaborators are the individuals who choose to support the AOSSM Research Agenda through their own contributions. Our Members, peers, Board of Directors and the AOSSM professional team are all among the line-up of donors. There are so many reasons I personally choose to support AOSSM, but one strong motive is the tremendous return on investment my donation brings to our field. In the Fall 2023 issue the research team provided a look at how just three of our grants, totaling $370K, have seeded major investments adding up to $7.3 million through matching funds from the National Institutes of Health and other sources.

As your President, seeing AOSSM Members collaboratively Leading Discovery to make sports medicine better makes me proud. I have said it before and will keep on saying it—AOSSM is AWESOME!

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