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Diversity Award

The Diversity Award recognizes excellence in promoting diversity in orthopaedics. The Diversity Award identifies living Academy Fellows and Emeritus members who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding commitment to making orthopaedics more representative of and accessible to the diverse population it serves.

This award is presented each year at the AAOS Annual Meeting. Recipients receive a $5,000 honorarium.

Candidates for the award will be evaluated for activities that include:

  • Promotion of diversity
  • Actively working to reduce obstacles that prevent greater numbers of women and under-represented ethnic groups from entering the field of orthopaedics in the U.S.
  • Acting as a role model to colleagues and leading by example in promoting diversity
  • Supporting diversity-related legislation, activities, and issues in health care
  • Making a lasting impact on the profession's diversity
  • Mentoring
  • Recruiting and encouraging diverse ethnic and/or female medical students and pre-med students to pursue careers in orthopaedic surgery
  • Sponsoring, mentoring, and/or guiding culturally diverse and female orthopaedic residents and young orthopaedists
  • Culturally Competent Care
  • Staffing clinics that provide musculoskeletal care to underserved patient populations
  • Teaching culturally competent care in a clinical and/or institutional setting
  • Acting in a leadership role in eliminating disparities in health care and/or promoting culturally competent care
  • Writing and publishing materials that relate to culturally competent care and/or healthcare disparities

Who is Eligible?

  • Must be an AAOS Active Academy Fellow or Emeritus Fellow in good standing
  • Cannot be a current member of the AAOS Diversity Advisory Board
  • Cannot have served on the AAOS Diversity Advisory Board, as voting member or chair, within the three years prior to the award year
  • Cannot be a current member of the AAOS Board of Directors
  • Cannot have served on the AAOS Board of Directors within the three years prior to the award year
  • If selected to receive the award, the candidate agrees to attend the AAOS Annual Meeting at his or her own expense
  • Agrees to release his or her image and an approved biography of his or her diversity activities for publicity purposes
  • Must be nominated by a sponsor

Who May Nominate/Sponsor a Nominee?

  • AAOS Fellows in good standing, Candidate members eligible for fellowship, and Emeritus Fellows
  • Orthopaedic residents who have directly and professionally benefited from the activities of the nominee
  • Sponsor cannot be a current member of the AAOS Diversity Advisory Board
  • Sponsor cannot have served on the AAOS Diversity Advisory Board, as voting member or chair, within the three years prior to the award year
  • Sponsor cannot be a current member of the AAOS Board of Directors

2021 Diversity Award Nomination Form

AAOS Awards Policy

James A. Hill, MD, FAAOS, Receives 2020 Diversity Award

James A. Hill, MD, is the recipient of the 2020 Diversity Award, in recognition for his lifelong commitment to advancing diversity in orthopaedics. Throughout his career, Dr. Hill embraced the need for diversity in orthopaedics in multiple roles, including at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Hill has served as a mentor to inner city youth, and as a resident in the late 1970s, he served as a volunteer physician in an underserved community in Ethiopia to promote and provide orthopaedic care.

Dr. Hill is on the board of trustees at Talladega College, Alabama's oldest private historically black liberal arts college, founded in 1867.  As a trustee he has mentored and counseled students for twenty years at the collegiate level; and for over thirty-five years he has helped minorities at all years of schooling obtain proper advice and guidance with their careers, whether it be in medicine or elsewhere.


Learn more about Dr. Hill and the 2020 Diversity Award

Previous AAOS Diversity Award Winners

Michael L. Parks, MD, FAAOS
2019 Diversity Award Winner

Mark Gebhardt, MD, FAAOS
2018 Diversity Award Winner

Richard E. Grant, MD, FAAOS
2017 Diversity Award Winner