Specialty Day participation at the AAOS Annual Meeting has a major role in fulfilling AANA’s educational mission. Even though AANA has enjoyed success with solo efforts, the organization found that collaboration with other societies both strengthened the scientific program and attracted a larger audience. The collaboration with other societies, which carries on to this day, also helps to expose non-members to the breadth of educational opportunities AANA offers. A review of Specialty Day programs over the past decade highlights the evolution and success of this collaborative approach.
The AANA 2012 Specialty Day program in San Francisco, California was designed by Dr. Field, who served as AANA Education Committee Chair at the time, and Dr. Provencher, who was president of SOMOS at the time. The program, which was a collaboration between AANA and SOMOS, featured a faculty made up of military Orthopaedic Surgeons who provided insight on how the military experience contributes to knowledge of topics such as shoulder instability, knee MCL sprains and PCL injury. An interesting talk, given by Dr. Tokish, described how his military experience improves his sports medicine practice. In addition to partnering with SOMOS for this program, AANA collaborated with the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) to offer a combined session at the program’s conclusion. The combined session featured a case-based panel discussion focused on challenges in shoulder instability, large retracted rotator cuff tears, biceps tenodesis vs. tenotomy. and elbow arthritis.
For 2013, the AANA Specialty Day program in Chicago, Illinois, under the direction of Program Chair Benjamin Shaffer, M.D., featured a similar format; an AANA-exclusive program was held in the morning and early afternoon, and then a combined AANA/AOSSM session took place during the final two hours of the program. The program highlighted the pros and cons of various arthroscopic challenges, including how to approach Hill Sachs lesions, glenoid deficiency, partial thickness rotator cuff tears, single row/double row rotator cuff repair and SLAP lesions. The knee session utilized the same format to address controversies in ACL reconstruction, double bundle reconstruction, articular cartilage defects, patellar instability and meniscus repair/transplantation. This was followed by a hip session that discussed labral tears, femoral acetabular impingement and subgluteal issues.
The 2014 Specialty Day in New Orleans, Louisiana was a solo effort and featured talks on shoulder instability, SLAP tears, rotator cuff injury, knee meniscus and articular cartilage issues. The program also featured talks on knee ligament injury, patellofemoral joint disease and hip arthroscopy.
For the 2015 Specialty Day program in Las Vegas, Nevada, AANA collaborated with both ASES and AOSSM under Program Chairs Dr. Tokish from AANA, Drs. Savoie and Plancher from ASES and Dr. Mazzocca from AOSSM. The program followed a case presentation format that was similar to years’ past. Panelists discussed various treatment options they would use, which a moderator would wrap up. Topics included PCL injury, shoulder instability, rotator cuff tear, biceps/SLAP and ACL/meniscus along with sessions on hospital employment vs. private practice. The program also featured one of the first sessions on orthobiologics. In the afternoon, an AANA-excusive session featured topics in shoulder, hip and knee along with a spotlight session on orthobiologics.
AANA was back to holding a solo program for the 2016 Specialty Day in Orlando, Florida. Sessions reviewed topics such as shoulder instability, SLAP tears and biceps pathology in the throwing shoulder, rotator cuff, knee meniscus/articular cartilage, knee ligament and hip. The day culminated with case-based discussions where the moderator presented challenging cases to the panel of experts.
The 2017 Specialty Day program in San Diego, California saw another collaboration with SOMOS. Various topics included shoulder instability, rotator cuff, SLAP tears and biceps pathology, as well as knee ligament/meniscus and hip topics. During these sessions, active-duty military Orthopaedic Surgeons offered their perspectives treating both the military population and the community at-large.
AANA collaborated with AOSSM for the 2018 Specialty Day in New Orleans, Louisiana Dr. Provencher served as Program Chair for AANA and Dr. Verma as Program Chair for AOSSM. Key lectures included knee ligament injuries, knee meniscus/cartilage, shoulder instability/biceps, rotator cuff and hip. Interspersed within each topic were paper presentations for research in respective topics. In addition, there were sessions on managing the athlete from high school to professional level and the business of sports medicine. The program also featured the Kennedy Lecture which Bernard Bach Jr., M.D. delivered.
The 2019 Specialty Day program in Las Vegas, Nevada saw another AANA/AOSSM collaboration with Dr. Bonner serving as Education Chair for AANA and Matthew Provencher as Program Chair for AOSSM. The familiar format included both lectures and paper presentations on topics complimentary to both arthroscopy and sports medicine.
Despite the cancellation of the 2020 AAOS Annual Meeting due to COVID-19, AANA displayed its nimbleness and adaptability by presenting a virtual version of Specialty Day in March 2020. The Specialty Day 2020 program featured didactic sessions on shoulder instability/labrum; knee cartilage, meniscus and biologics; and hip. The virtual program also included a recorded version of the first AANA Innovations Lecture, "The Basis of Innovation: Depth, Breadth and Tenacity" by Dr. Burkhart.
Under the leadership of AANA Program Chairs Dr. Waterman and Aaron J. Kyrch, M.D. and AOSSM Program Chairs Steven B. Cohen, M.D. and Brett D. Owens, M.D., the 2021 Specialty Day program was executed virtually and explored controversies in shoulder, knee, elbow and hip surgery. With the 2021 AAOS Annual Meeting in San Diego, California postponed to September, a joint AANA/ASES session was held to educate attendees on topics related to both shoulder and elbow surgery.
AANA Traveling Fellowship
The AANA Traveling Fellowship had its genesis at a 2005 meeting of the AANA Board of Directors. The board charged the AANA Fellowship Committee under the leadership of John Richmond, M.D. to develop a plan to implement a traveling fellowship. Along with Patrick St. Pierre, M.D. and Mark H. Getelman, M.D., FAANA, they outlined a plan for the selection of fellows, selection of sites for the fellows to visit, and for funding of the fellowship. It was also decided that the fellows would be accompanied on their journey by a “Godfather,” a seasoned veteran who would provide guidance, perspective, and educational input during their travels. The first Godfather was Howard J. Sweeney, M.D. and each succeeding Godfather has been a past president of AANA.
The early history of the AANA Traveling Fellowship is summarized in Chapter 7 of 30 Years of Excellence: The History of the Arthroscopy Association of North America, authored by Dr. St. Pierre. Dr. Sweeney led the first three AANA Traveling Fellows on a journey that included Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois (Bernard R. Bach, M.D., Brian J. Cole, M.D., M.B.A., FAANA, Anthony A. Romeo, M.D., Gregory P. Nicholson, M.D. and Charles A. Bush-Joseph, M.D.); Southern California Orthopedic Institute in Los Angeles, California (Stephen J. Snyder, M.D., Mark H. Getelman, M.D., FAANA, Carlos A. Guanche, M.D., FAANA and Ronald P. Karzel, M.D.); New England Baptist in Boston, Massachusetts (John C. Richmond, M.D., Alan S. Curtis, M.D., FAANA, Brian P. McKeon, M.D., Glen Ross, M.D., Suzanne L. Miller, M.D. and John J. Tierney, D.O.), Hospital for Special Surgery, Columbia, Hospital for Joint Disease and Mount Sinai in New York, New York (William N. Levine, M.D., Christopher S. Ahmad, M.D., Russell F. Warren, M.D., Scott A. Rodeo, M.D., Thomas L. Wickiewicz, M.D., David W. Altchek, M.D., Frank A. Cordasco, M.D., Steven E. Rokito, M.D., Robert J. Meislin, M.D., Joseph D. Zukerman, M.D. and Evan L. Flatow, M.D.); Washington, D.C. (Robert P. Nirschl, M.D., Patrick St. Pierre, M.D. and Raymond Thal, M.D.); and Birmingham, Alabama (Edward L. Cain Jr., M.D.) The experience included operating room time to observe the experts as they performed cutting-edge arthroscopic procedures; office time to observe key elements in the work-up of orthopaedic pathology including history, physical examination, radiographic and other supporting studies; and time allotted for academic presentations. Appropriate time for entertainment and fellowship was also provided. This whirlwind four-week adventure culminated at the AANA Annual Meeting which was held in Hollywood, Florida. A synopsis of the journey was reported at the AANA Annual Meeting and also published in Arthroscopy.
In its current iteration, the AANA Traveling Fellowship visits three institutions over a two-week period under the supervision of a Godfather and culminates at the AANA Annual Meeting. A call for applications goes out to the membership each August and the applications are due by a November deadline. Each applicant submits a personal statement to support his or her desire to participate in the program, a letter of recommendation and curriculum vitae. Members of the AANA Fellowship Committee review all of the applications and each committee member selects his or her top four selections. The AANA Fellowship Committee then reviews all of these selections and the finalists are selected during a committee meeting. The Godfather is also selected by the committee at the annual meeting and has, by tradition, been selected from the group of AANA past presidents. The committee is also involved in the site selection process, with AANA Staff helping determine the best route of travel with the final stop at the AANA Annual Meeting.
Since 30 Years of Excellence: The History of the Arthroscopy Association of North America memorialized the original AANA Traveling Fellowships in 2010, there have been 10 additions to the life-changing experiences AANA provided. Each experience is unique, with the Godfather, AANA Traveling Fellows and host sites making it their own.
In 2011, John F. Meyers, M.D. accompanied Shane K. Woolf, M.D., Michael P. Bradley, M.D. and Todd C. Battaglia, M.D. M.S., FAANA on their AANA Traveling Fellowship to San Diego, California, Chicago, Illinois and San Antonio, Texas. Below are Dr. Meyers’ fond recollections of his experience:
The [AANA Traveling] Fellowship consisted of three fellows: Drs. Michael Bradley from Rhode Island, Todd Battaglia from Syracuse, New York and Shane Woolf from Charleston, South Carolina. All were fellowship-trained and within five years of starting a practice. They were affable and eager to learn.
We met at the airport in San Antonio and checked in to our hotel. We spent the next day watching Dr. Steve Burkhart in surgery. We all know that he is innovative and an excellent surgeon. What amazed me was the excellent operating room team that he had created. Everyone had a specific job, and they all did that job without being instructed. Seamless. We visited Intrepid Rehabilitation Center. They treat wounded warriors and get many of them back to active duty, prosthesis and all. We also spent a day at Dr. Burkhart’s incredible ranch.
Our next stop was Chicago where Dr. Brian Cole was our host. The first day we watched Dr. Cole do eight major cases utilizing two rooms in an outpatient surgery center. We then went to his gym for 90 minutes and accompanied him while he covered a Chicago Bulls game. What an energy level! Next day we watched other Rush University Center surgeons, including my old friend, Dr. Bernie Bach. Our stay also included a Chicago White Sox game and the Chicago River architecture tour.
Our final stop was San Diego. Dr. Matt Provencher was our host assisted by Drs. Jim Esch and Jim Tasto. We watched multiple surgeons do some challenging cases. Dr. Esch proved you are never too old to learn as he explained his new understanding of the rotator cuff insertion. We saw a San Diego Padres game with Dr. Provencher and I got a putting lesson from Dr. Lanny Johnson (he has invented several putters and golf grips and had a putting school with a former PGA player.)
We ended our trip in San Francisco at the AANA Annual Meeting. I have never enjoyed an educational experience quite as much. I made three new friends and visited with lots of old ones. We saw lots of good stuff and some not so good stuff which we thoroughly discussed over beers when time allowed. Whoever came up with the idea for the [AANA Traveling] Fellowship, thank you!
The 2013 AANA Traveling Fellowship, led by Stephen S. Burkhart, M.D. included Kevin W. Farmer, M.D., Abdullah Foad, M.D., FAANA, Matthew J. Bollier, M.D. and Kevin R. Willits, M.D. on a great itinerary as recalled by Dr. Burkhart:
At Vail, we watched Dr. Peter Millett perform his up-to-the-minute techniques in arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and instability repair, as well as a total shoulder replacement and a very uncommon and interesting reconstruction of an unstable sternoclavicular joint using a gracilis graft. Dr. Tom Hackett performed a revision ACL reconstruction as well as a Latarjet reconstruction and an elbow arthroscopy. Dr. Mark Philippon performed an intricate arthroscopic acetabular labral reconstruction. Dr. Rob LaPrade performed a complicated ACL revision. In addition to observing surgery, we had a fun-filled afternoon of snowmobiling after an unexpected snowstorm dumped about eight inches of snow onto the mountains.
Next, we flew to LA and visited the surgeons at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute, or SCOI. While at SCOI, we saw complex arthroscopic rotator cuff repair/reconstruction procedures using dermal patches, performed by Drs. Steve Snyder and Mark Getelman. We also saw high-level arthroscopic procedures by Drs. Ron Karzel and Rick Ferkel. We were treated to a delicious steak dinner by the SCOI surgeons. In addition, we were hosted at a California Angels baseball game by Drs. Scott Powell and Bill Stetson.
Our third and final stop was to The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group just prior to the AANA Annual Meeting in San Antonio. In San Antonio, I had the opportunity to show the [AANA] Traveling Fellows most of my advanced techniques for rotator cuff repair/reconstruction and instability repair. This was capped off by a trip to our "Cloud 9 Ranch" outside San Antonio. From there, it was on to the AANA Annual Meeting at the JW Marriott in San Antonio.
The [AANA] Traveling Fellows have all told me that their experience was a professional high point in their lives. They were able to see an incredible variety of arthroscopic techniques in all the major joints by skilled surgeons over a very short period of time. There was no other way that they could have gotten this breadth of surgical experience from top experts during such a compressed time frame. Similarly, my experience as Godfather to the [AANA] Traveling Fellows was a professional high point, with the opportunity to see the entire spectrum of arthroscopic expertise across all the major joints and to realize how my small subspecialty of shoulder arthroscopy fits into the overall picture. And it was a wonderful opportunity to get to know these young leaders of tomorrow.
In 2015, Godfather Stephen J. Snyder, M.D. oversaw the AANA Traveling Fellowship with AANA Traveling Fellows Thomas V. O’Hagan, M.D., Carl D. Allred, M.D. and Darius M. Moezzi, M.D. Dr. Snyder fondly recalls his experience:
Together we visited the Vail Orthopedic Clinic where we were hosted by Dr. Peter Millet. We observed a spectacular array of arthroscopic shoulder and knee procedures by the physician staff including hip procedures by Dr. Mark Philippon.
We next visited Dr. Robert Burks at the University of Utah. He and his team regaled us with numerous state-of-the-art arthroscopic procedures and a hike to the top of Burks Mountain for a spectacular view of the Salt Lake Valley, [followed by] fine wine and a picnic dinner hosted by Dr. Burks and wife Karen Burks.
We finished our trip at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute, or SCOI, in Van Nuys, California and observed Drs. Steve Snyder, Mark Getelman, Marc Friedman, Carlos Guanche, Ron Karzel and Rick Ferkel in the SCOI surgery center. They are a large group devoted to arthroscopic surgery and we observed some of the latest techniques as well as practiced them in the CLASroom, their high-tech digital surgical lab.
At each stop we all enjoyed the friendship and hospitality of our hosts and many of their partners and family members. It was a magical week of friendship, learning and memories that will last a lifetime.
Jack M. Bert, M.D. served as Godfather for the 2017 AANA Traveling Fellowship class, including Lt. Col. Christopher J. Tucker, M.D., Michael J. Alaia, M.D., Patrick W. Joyner, M.D. and Nathan K. Endres, M.D. Dr. Bert recalls the experience:
The [AANA] Traveling Fellowship was one of the best experiences that I have had from a teaching and friendship perspective during [my] 43 years of orthopaedic practice. Drs. Nathan Endres from University of Vermont, Pat Joyner from Naples, Florida, Michael Alaia from NYU Langone, and Lt. Col. Chris Tucker from Walter Reed in Bethesda have not only become good friends but have taught at the Orthopaedic Learning Center and the AANA Annual Meeting and published to Arthroscopy. We spent three days each at University of Connecticut where Drs. Gus Mazzocca, Bob Arciero and Cory Edgar were our hosts. At Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Brian Cole was our host, and at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Dr. Eric McCarty hosted our group. At each hospital, multiple other well-known faculty members contributed their time and surgical expertise. At each location, we were treated to case presentation lectures and multiple surgical procedures by these incredible surgeons as well as evening events including professional baseball games, a hot air balloon ride and dinners at local restaurants and at our host’s homes.
I urge any Orthopaedic Surgeon [early in practice] to participate in this experience. It is truly an event of a lifetime that will be cherished by both the [AANA Traveling] Fellows and the Godfather with a special friendship that will last forever.
The 2018 AANA Traveling Fellowship class included Ivan H. Wong, M.D., FAANA, Diego Perez Salazar Marina, M.D., Matthew J. Salzler, M.D. and Kelly G. Kilcoyne, M.D. and were escorted by Leslie S. Matthews, M.D. Dr. Matthews recalls fond memories of his journey:
In April of 2018, I had the distinct honor of serving at the Godfather for the AANA Traveling Fellows. Four very talented surgeons, Drs. Ivan Wong, Diego Salazar, Kelly Killkoyne and Matt Salzer, joined me for a remarkable training and goodwill experience.
We began our journey at NYU and had a very warm reception. The educational experience was superb and the [AANA Traveling Fellows] even got airtime on Sirius' Doctor Radio. We then traveled to Ohio State where our hosts were equally gracious. We had wonderful clinical and social interactions with the faculty and even did some skeet shooting. We concluded our tour at Tulane University where we once again had very meaningful clinical experiences followed by a gator tour to add to the excitement. Our journey concluded at the AANA Annual Meeting in Chicago.
It was truly one of the most enjoyable and meaningful experiences of my career and all of us remain grateful to our hosts and to AANA for sponsoring such a meaningful opportunity.
In 2019, Godfather John C. Richmond, M.D. accompanied AANA Traveling Fellows Michael H. Amini, M.D., Fernando Hernandez-Perez, M.D., Andrew J. Sheean, M.D. and Aravind Athiviraham, M.D., F.R.C.S.C. on their visits to Jackson, Mississippi; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Gainesville, Florida. Dr. Richmond fondly recalls his experience:
Having the opportunity to be a Godfather for the AANA Traveling Fellowship was an extremely rewarding experience. Spending those 10 days, from dawn to long after dark, leading to the [AANA] Annual Meeting, with a talented group of highly motivated arthroscopists, reinforced my faith that the next generation of arthroscopic surgeons is committed, talented and will lead AANA into the future.
In addition to adding a little to the extensive stream of knowledge to which they were exposed, as Godfather, I got to adopt another set of “kids” (Drs. Michael Amini, Aravind Athiviraham, Fernando Hernandez-Perez and Andrew Sheehan) to whom I am forever linked). I would like to thank our hosts, Drs. Larry Field, Brian Waterman and Kevin Farmer for all the work that they and their faculty put in to make this a great educational and social experience for the 2019 AANA Traveling Fellows.
The AANA Traveling Fellowship has evolved into an educational mainstay and has proven to be an important addition to the ongoing professional advancement of the selected Orthopaedic Surgeons, further fostering AANA’s future leaders.