Kelly imparts "hard-earned wisdom" to new fellows

In his address to new members yesterday, John D. Kelly IV, MD, shared three principles that he uses, and advised them “to write the script of your practice and your life story.”

The first principle is that “each of us has the power to control our own destiny and create positive, happy lives through our decisions.” In describing the proactive person as one who bases life on decisions—not conditions—Dr. Kelly said, “Proactive individuals simply make things happen despite circumstances and become the authors of their life stories. When we choose positive action, our lives yield positive results.”

John D. Kelly IV, MD

Reminding the fellows that “every action we choose has consequences,” Dr. Kelly encouraged them to “make the proactive choice, every day, to look for the good. We will then, in time, fashion positive cultures at work and at home.”

That leads to his second principle: “We are most effective when we decide to live a positive, honorable, and mindful life.”

“If you decide to act to honor and preserve your profession, rather than be acted upon ... you will indeed start to write the script your practice and your life story,” said Dr. Kelly.

“When we speak the truth, keep our promises, and make the right choices for our patients, we will be blessed with peace, self-respect, and renewable energy. When we decide to focus on all the good and service we render, when we awaken to the truth that no other profession eases pain and suffering as much as orthopaedic surgeons, we will retain those good feelings, which will sustain us during the call nights and the ‘add ons,’” he continued.

He advised the new fellows to “attack one task at a time with all of your attention.”

Finally, he said, “Commitment to our relationships, especially with our spouse/partner, determines our happiness.”

This principle is important, he said, because conflict with a spouse or partner detracts from what the orthopaedic surgeon can share with patients. “When we commit, we will simply make the most of the relationship and focus more on the positive, rather than the negative,” said Dr. Kelly. “Be the best spouse or partner you can be, and your significant other will respond predictably—I promise.”

In conclusion, he called upon them to follow the example of AAOS President Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD. “Fellows, you have before you the opportunity to do more good, to ease more suffering, to be significant in the lives of more people than you ever imagined. Recognize that we are all in this together and our beloved brotherhood of the AAOS is our most effective vehicle for positive professional change.”