President's Message - December 201412.15.2014
Hello, folks, and hope everyone is having an enjoyable holiday season. Just want to keep you up-to-date on what your Executive Committee is working on these days.
We have formed several ad-hoc committees to look at special issues. One of these is the shoulder and elbow fellowship match. You may have heard that S/E did not fill its match spots this year, filling only 34 of 42. A special ad-hoc committee, chaired by Tony Romeo, is looking at the causes of this, and seeing if there is anyway that we can reverse and improve this situation in coming years.
We have also formed a committee to look at our membership guidelines. This has been studied before, but the current committee is chaired by Past President Rob Bell and President-Elect Jesse Jupiter. It is looking at several aspects of our membership process, including whether or not ASES might benefit from an entry-level category of membership, which does exist in most other orthopaedic specialty societies. It is also looking at some aspects of how we admit foreign members as corresponding members and our guidelines for surgeons who are applying mostly as elbow candidates. Our current guidelines request that 50% of a candidate’s cases be performed on the shoulder and elbow, and as we all know, there aren’t that many elbow cases out there to do. It may be necessary that we decrease this percentage, or perhaps use a number of cases, for these applicants.
We hope to have the membership recommendations finalized after the 2015 AAOS Annual Meeting in Las Vegas and send it out to the membership well in advance of the next Closed Meeting, so everybody will have had a chance to read the committee’s recommendations and comment on them. We want you to come the meeting fully prepared and aware of any potential policy changes, and don’t want this to be a surprise to you if anything is brought up for a vote at next year’s meeting.
Andy Green is also chairing a workgroup that is looking at prosthetic joint infections (PJI) in the upper extremity. As we all know, PJI is a devastating complication for the patient, both clinically and often financially, and it is also very tough emotionally on the surgeon. In addition, with the government crackdown on not paying for “avoidable complications,” this affects hospitals and surgeons fiscally as well.
With the more recent advances on P. acnes as a causative agent, almost unique to the shoulder, much more information has been available recently on PJI in the upper extremity. Yet, prior to Andy’s workgroup, no summary statement has been made available, although similar statements and projects do exist for total hip and knee replacement. We hope to produce one that summarizes the current status of the problem.
We have formed a committee to look at the ASES bidding to host the 2022 International Congress on Shoulder and Elbow Surgery (ICSES). This may seem premature but the bid will be presented at the 2016 ICSES Meeting on Jeju Island, Korea, and will occur under Jesse Jupiter’s term as President. We need time to choose a prospective city for the location, and also start organizing the bid, so we can make an outstanding presentation at the 2016 Meeting. The ICSES Meeting has twice been in the United States, in 1989 in New York city, and in 2004 in Washington, DC. The 2019 meeting will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and we think that by 2022, it will be time for it to return to the United States and are working to make this a reality.
Finally, work also continues on the value-based shoulder and elbow care committee which was started last year by Larry Higgins. At this time we are discussing our findings, which were presented at the recent Closed Meeting in Pinehurst, with both AOSSM, AANA, and the ASSH, so that we can coordinate our efforts on the anatomic areas which we all treat.
On the fund-raising side, the CESES (Continuing Education in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery) fund is being re-named, and will shortly have the title of ASES Foundation. This move and the current fund-raising drive is spearheaded by Jon Ticker, who has worked tirelessly on this project. The ASES Foundation looks to raise funds to support education in shoulder and elbow surgery. The OREF will no longer accept directed donations to sub-specialty societies such as ASES, so any donations that were to be made there should be directed to the ASES Foundation. You can find out more about this project on the ASES website.
So we have been busy. And we hope to stay busy and make some real progress in the coming year. I’ll try to keep you informed from time-to-time. My best wishes to everyone and their families for a safe and Happy Holiday season, whether for you that is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or something else of your own beliefs.
Bill Mallon, MD