It is truly an honor to be selected as the 6th Executive Director of the AOAO. When first asked if I was interested in considering the position, little did I realize how lengthy and competitive a process it would become. There were many excellent candidates and I am humbled by the support and confidence of our Board of Directors. Soon after I was notified of the Board’s decision, I started to gather advice from many AOAO member colleagues and began to wind down my practice – no easy task. As I embark on this new career path, I want all AOAO members to know that I am here for you and will strive to strengthen and improve the Academy to the best of my ability and with all my heart.
The future of the AOAO is certain to include many challenges, not the least of which is recruiting and retaining members. The transition to a single accreditation system is nearly complete and certainly will present some challenges in recruiting new osteopathic orthopedic surgery resident members. In an effort to engage both osteopathic medical students and osteopathic orthopedic surgery residents, the Academy will continue to develop its new Ambassador Program, initiated by the Membership Committee in 2018, with informative video presentations. Additional efforts are also underway to enhance member benefits for members of all ages and stages of their careers. Two new groups within the AOAO have emerged this year. The Program Directors Committee has now become a standing committee and is working on several ways to help improve faculty development, scholarly activity and increase resident involvement in our Academy. The Female Orthopedic Group has now become an official specialty section, check out their article in this Orthopod issue.
Although 2020 has been a most unusual year, I am happy to report the AOAO continues to thrive. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly affected all of us in many ways. Many have had significant changes in practice patterns, loss of patient volume and loss of income. Some have seen loss of life, either in patients or close family members. Through these trying times the AOAO had to cancel our spring meeting, however, we were able to accomplish an amazing fall meeting virtually. Astonishingly, we reached an all-time high in attendance with over 1100 registered participants. We were also forced to offer our Annual Awards Ceremony virtually as well.
Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients and thank you to all who participated in our first ever online ceremony. The annual ceremony is traditionally when we see a change in AOAO leadership. This year was no exception and Fred McAlpin, DO, FAOAO assumed the role of President, Gregory Hill, DO, FAOAO of First Vice President, Edward Armbruster, DO, FAOAO of Second Vice President, and Dennis Blackburn, DO, FAOAO of Third Vice President. Sean McMillan, DO, FAOAO was elected as Secretary/Treasurer and Miles Singer, DO, FAOAO was elected as Director for a second term. Congratulations and welcome to Joshua Tuck, DO, FAOAO who was elected to serve as a new member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Tuck specializes in Sports Medicine/Arthroscopy in Erie, PA. He has been an active member of the Editorial Subcommittee, of the Residents and Fellows Committee, as well as a speaker at numerous AOAO meetings and served as the Resident Director on the Board in 2010.
I would like to thank the entire AOAO Board for their leadership and service as well as all those who have contributed to the success of the AOAO. Your commitment to our organization is deeply appreciated and necessary to our continued success. The future of the AOAO is dependent on our collective group efforts and I want to encourage everyone to get involved in any way that fits their talents.
I wish you and your family a safe and healthy New Year.