Daniel K. Guy, MD, FAAOS, prefaced his speech as 2021–2022 AAOS president with an admitted understate-ment of the obvious: “We’ve had a challenging year.”
“We have faced challenge after challenge,” and yet, he continued, “here we are today as a sure, indelible sign of perseverance.”
Turning to a sports legend to illustrate his point, Dr. Guy quoted Babe Ruth: “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” Ruth, it should be noted, is famous for hitting 714 balls out of the park, but he was also known as the King of Strikeouts, whiffing some 1,330 times. “For him, though,” Dr. Guy said, “that was just the price of doing business. He continued to step up to bat—enjoying the good, accepting the bad, and then doing it all over again.”
As orthopaedic surgeons, “all of us have likewise stayed in the game, absorbing our losses, celebrating our wins, and getting here today to do it all over again.”
Dr. Guy then emphatically pivoted to give tribute to his predecessor and good friend, 2021–2022 President Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS. “As our president, Joe proved over and over again that he was the right person for the tough times we were experiencing. Joe never wavered, and he communicated with Fellows consistently, while he continued to judiciously offer each of us wit, sprinkled with bits of philosophy, that always kept me reaching for a dictionary. Joe, Marcus Aurelius would be proud of your exemplary service,” Dr. Guy said.
He predicted a bright future ahead as Felix H. (Buddy) Savoie III, MD, FAAOS, becomes president next March, followed in a year by Kevin J. Bozic, MD, MBA, FAAOS. “Both Buddy and Kevin welcome the opportunity to help lead the Academy, and I am confident they and the next generation of leaders will serve us well,” Dr. Guy said.
He continued: “We are orthopaedic surgeons. Some of us work on the shoulder, some on the spine or hand, others on hips and knees … but we are all orthopaedic surgeons. And this Academy represents each of you. We are a member organization. Every Academy initiative is designed to help us be better surgeons so that we can provide the best care to the patients we serve.”
Referring to the “incomparable” Academy benefits, from initiatives in virtual learning opportunities to improved and expanded education resources for residents and quality initiatives such as the thriving Registries Program, Dr. Guy said, “It is easy to take these benefits for granted, and some might ask, ‘Does this really matter?’” Dr. Guy’s resounding answer: “You bet it does.”
Noting that he felt “lucky to be here today,” Dr. Guy gave thanks to “each of you here as well as many of those who are absent.” He added, “I have the good fortune to be supported by my family, friends, and colleagues.” Dr. Guy expressed his affection for and gratitude to his wife, Jill, whom he called his “good luck” and his “best friend of 50 years and wife of 45 years.” He was escorted on stage by their “flock:” one of their two daughters and three grandchildren, who have already showed signs of following in their grandfather’s footsteps. “Brooks, now 7 years old, a few years ago went early decision and plans to be ‘a bone doctor,’” Dr. Guy said. “I am encouraging this good career choice. His older sister, Emma, also recently declared for orthopaedics, while almost-3-year-old Frances is leaving her options open. We are so proud of all of you.”
In summing up his message of gratitude to be part of a proud and respected profession and an organization that faithfully and honorably serves the interests of its members and their patients, Dr. Guy returned to the theme of his speech: “Does this matter? I think you know the answer. You bet it matters.”
Terry Stanton is the senior medical writer of AAOS Now. He can be reached at email@example.com.