Speaker: Evalina Burger, MD, FAAOS
Evalina Burger, MD, FAAOS: I'm Evalina Burger. I am the Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Why should AAOS Members vote Yes for the proposed SOP Amendment? In 2005, the Professional Compliance Program was created. It is a mechanism for unprofessional conduct to be evaluated by the AAOS. In 2022, the AAOS Board of Directors in furtherance of the AAOS Goals and to improve the culture of the orthopaedic profession, proposed a revision to the Standard of Practice. It was to confirm that AAOS considers harassment, bullying and discrimination to be unprofessional. At the request of the B. O. D., it was deemed appropriate to add the terminology, harassment, bullying and discrimination. Grievances undergo a rigorous process based on 20 pages of procedures approved by the Board of Directors. It focuses on providing both parties with equal opportunities to present evidence and argue in support of their position. By the time the Board has considered the matter, more than 30 AAOS Fellows have reviewed and voted on a grievance. AAOS is a voluntary membership organization and, as such, has no governmental or regulatory authority over its membership that would allow an investigation to be conducted. Each grievance is based solely on evidence provided by the parties which may include the result of a prior investigation as well as other documentation and witness testimony. A grievance based solely on social media or "He said. She said." would not be accepted for the grievance hearing. During the Open Hearings, AAOS Bylaws Committee heard from two AAOS Fellows who were opposed to and many more who were supportive of the proposed amendment. Ultimately, the Bylaws Committee recommended that the proposed S.O.P. Amendment be adopted by the Fellowship on the ballot to be distributed the first week of May. In line with our core values, increasing our transparency, diversity and professionalism, we are leading to serve, shaping the future and excellent together. The Diversity Board is also implementing initiatives focused on increasing diversity in leader recruitment, selection, retention and supporting a culture that embraces diversity. I therefore implore you to vote. Yes on these amendments. It will go a long way to exemplify the values we embrace as orthopaedic surgeons. Thank you.