President's Message - May 201505.04.2015
It has been a busy few weeks as ASES President since the AAOS Annual Meeting in Las Vegas at the end of May with the AANA Meeting in later April, and yesterday I returned from the BOS (Board of Specialty Societies) Meeting in Washington, DC. In addition, your Executive Committee has met via conference call several times, and we have had several conference calls with various other ASES Committees.
One thing that by now I hope you are aware of is our ongoing effort to look at adding a new entry-level membership category, to be called Candidate Members. A few weeks ago I sent a “white paper” on this proposal to all ASES Members, based on work by the ad hoc Membership Guidelines Committee and approval by the Executive Committee. This was followed a few weeks ago by a survey sent to all ASES Members asking for your opinion of this proposed new membership category and also, if it is approved, what you might envision as the details of such a category.
We had an excellent response with 175 responses, 101 from Active Members, and 68 from Associate Members (only 169 answered this question). In terms of the most important question, asking if members were in favor of adding a Candidate Member category, the answers were as follows: In Favor – 113 (65.3%); Not In Favor – 26 (15.0%); Not Sure – 27 (15.6%); and Prefer to Expand Associate Category – 7 (4.1%).
We will attach the survey results along with this message so you can view the entire range of responses to all the questions. Given this survey, it appears there is sufficient momentum to go ahead and propose a Candidate Membership category as a by-law change. This will have to be voted on at the Closed Meeting in Asheville, NC in October. As to the details of what the category will entail, in terms of requirements, benefits, possible advancement, etc., the Executive Committee is examining this and the survey results, and will come up with proposed guidelines for Candidate Members and this will be sent to you in the next month or two.
We want you to arrive at the Closed Meeting fully aware of the process we have taken and the responses from your membership. We don’t want anyone to say this was not well thought out, or well considered, or that they were not informed. If you have any questions about any of this at any time, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This has been far from our only project. We have also had meetings and calls with Doug Van Citters from the Dartmouth Department of Engineering. Doug has worked in the past with Mike Mayor and John Collier in examining retrieval studies of total joints, usually hips and knees. We have talked to Doug for several years now about forming an alliance between his department and ASES in which our members can provide total shoulders and elbows that are retrieved from revision cases, so that Doug’s team can analyze these retrieved prostheses. There have been some conceptual problems but these have now been worked through and the Executive Committee has voted to approve that ASES work with Doug’s team so we can better analyze the causes of shoulder and elbow prosthetic failure, and learn from him, and improve. We will present the details of how this will work later in the summer or in Asheville.
Bill Levine has been in charge of the Shoulder and Elbow Fellowship Committee for several years but this position is now held by Leesa Galatz. In addition, Tony Romeo has been in charge of an ad hoc committee to look at ASES recognition of shoulder and elbow fellowships. As you may know, shoulder and elbow fellowships did not fill their match spots last year and we have some concerns about the unmonitored proliferation of such fellowships. This will not be an accreditation process as we are not licensed to do that, but will simply be a review of fellowships by Leesa’s committee (which will be enlarged), being certain that all of the S/E fellowships are providing the educational experience with which they are charged. Bill Levine also helped a great deal with this by conducting an excellent “exit survey” of last year’s fellows, from which we learned a lot. We thank Bill for all his work on this committee for the past few years.
Finally, work goes on with the Value Committee which was started by Larry Higgins and JP Warner almost 18 months ago. We have had numerous conference calls, 100s of e-mails, and now have met with leaders of related societies – AOSSM / AANA / ASSH – seeing how we can interact to make proposals about how we can collect outcomes, and which instruments we think are the ones that all shoulder / elbow surgeons (and all orthopaedists) should use. With the recent SGR repeal by Congress and President Obama, it may seem that many problems have been solved, but actually, the repeal decision mandates that orthopaedists start collecting data on performance and outcomes over the next few years, at the risk of financial penalties. So the push to collect our outcomes is becoming stronger and it will soon become a necessity. Kevin Bozic has noted that if “we don’t do it, it will be done to us” and that is why we think it is so important that ASES be a leader in helping orthopaedists decide on what outcomes to measure and how to measure them. Remember, the father of outcome study was Amory Codman, who is also the father of shoulder surgery. We have to live up to that and we continue work on this project.
So we’ve been busy. More down the road, but we will keep you informed along the way.
Bill Mallon, MD