News

Open hearing today on Bylaws, SOPs changes

An Open Hearing will be held today on four groups of proposed amendments to the AAOS Bylaws and proposed revisions to the Standards of Professionalism (SOPs) on Providing Musculoskeletal Services to Patients.

The Bylaws Open Hearing will immediately follow the Resolutions Committee Open Hearing in Room 270 of the Moscone Convention Center and is anticipated to begin around 1:30 pm. Recommendations of the Bylaws Committee will be presented at the Association Business Meeting tomorrow.

Bylaws amendments
Bylaws Amendment Group #1 would change the AAOS Nominating Committee composition and election process. If adopted as proposed, the size of the Nominating Committee would remain at seven, with the chair appointed by the AAOS Board of Directors. The Board of Councilors (BOC) and Board of Specialty Societies (BOS) would each have a designated position—“slotted seat”—on the committee. The fellowship would elect the remaining four members. The members of the Nominating Committee would be announced in September and the committee would meet in the fall.

Bylaws Amendment Group #1 also includes proposed changes in the election process for AAOS officer and other positions. If these changes are adopted as proposed, nominations for officer and other positions would be announced at least 60 days before the Annual Meeting. Up to 30 days before the Annual Meeting, any 20 fellows could nominate other individuals to serve. The Nominating Committee’s slate and nominations from fellows would be considered during the Business Meeting of the Annual Meeting, and fellows attending that meeting would vote on the nominees.

The BOC and BOS recommend adoption of this bylaw. The AAOS Board of Directors voted not to support the concept of “slotted seats,” but voted to support the recommended changes in the election process.

Bylaws Amendment Group # 2 would enlarge the Nominating Committee with no designated “slotted seats.” If adopted as proposed, this amendment would enlarge the AAOS Nominating Committee from seven to nine members (eight members elected by the fellowship and the chair appointed by the Board of Directors). All current eligibility requirements would remain in effect. The BOC, BOS, and AAOS Board of Directors recommend that this bylaws amendment not be adopted.

Bylaws Amendment Group #3 would continue the current AAOS practice of announcing the Nominating Committee’s proposed slate for the first time at the Annual Meeting. It would also incorporate the current practice of accepting nominations from the floor in the bylaws. The BOC, BOS, and AAOS Board of Directors recommend that this bylaws amendment not be adopted because the fellowship voted in 2007 to support announcement of the proposed slate at least 60 days before the Annual Meeting, effective at the 2009 Annual Meeting.

Bylaws Amendment Group #4 would expand eligibility requirements for AAOS Associate Resident Member status to include all residents enrolled in orthopaedic residency programs, not just those in PGY4 and PGY5. The BOC, BOS, and AAOS Board of Directors recommend that this bylaws amendment be adopted.

Revisions to Standards of Professionalism
Also under consideration are proposed revisions to the SOPs on Providing Musculoskeletal Services to Patients, which were originally adopted in April 2005. The BOC and BOS voted to revise these SOPs to include the following four new Mandatory Standards that address issues related to potential conflicts of interest:

  • An orthopaedic surgeon shall disclose to the patient any conflict of interest, financial or otherwise, that may influence his or her ability to provide appropriate care;
  • An orthopaedic surgeon shall not enter into any contractual relationship whereby the orthopaedic surgeon pays for the right to care for patients with musculoskeletal conditions;
  • An orthopaedic surgeon shall make a reasonable effort to ensure that his or her academic institution, hospital, or employer shall not enter into any contractual relationship whereby such institution pays for the right to care for patients with musculoskeletal conditions; and
  • An orthopaedic surgeon or his or her professional corporation shall not couple a marketing agreement or the provision of medical services, supplies, equipment or personnel with required referrals to that orthopaedic surgeon or his or her professional corporation.


It is recommended that these SOPs not be implemented until January 2009 to enable AAOS to conduct educational programs for the fellowship on these standards.

In August 2007, 20 fellows proposed an additional Mandatory Standard that provides “an orthopaedic surgeon shall treat patients equally and not discriminate on race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion or national origin or on any basis that would constitute illegal discrimination.” The BOC, BOS, and AAOS Board of Directors recommend adoption of these proposed revisions.

Voting follows meeting
The Official Meeting Notice sent to each fellow in January included full texts of the proposed revisions to the SOPs and copies of the proposed Bylaws amendments and the recommendations of the BOC, BOS, and AAOS Board of Directors. The Bylaws Committee encourages all fellows to attend the open hearing and express their opinions. All fellows will have the opportunity to vote on the recommendations of the AAOS Bylaws Committee on each of the proposed bylaws amendments and the proposed revisions to the SOPs shortly after the 2008 Annual Meeting.

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