John M. Tokish, M.D., FAANA Takes Office as AANA President

Published on 5/30/2023


John M. Tokish, M.D., FAANA, associate chair for Research and director of the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship at Mayo Clinic Arizona, has been named president of AANA for 2023-2024.


He assumed the position following the 2023 AANA Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Dr. Tokish recently completed his terms as second and first vice president and has been an Active Member of the organization for over 10 years. Throughout his time as a member, his myriad leadership positions on committees and the board have helped AANA lay the groundwork for collaborative research and education initiatives that will keep the organization at the forefront of innovation in minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery.


As a practicing surgeon and colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, “service above self” is a mantra Dr. Tokish strives to live by. Graduating from the U.S. Airforce Academy at a young age and serving as an active duty officer in the military for 16 years gave him a deep appreciation for those in service to our country. Returning the “Warrior Athlete” to duty became a driving purpose for research and innovation in care, which will serve as fundamental aspects of his presidential platform. His previous roles as board liaison for the AANA Research Committee and chair of the AANA Education Committee will aid his platform.


“It’s tremendously humbling to assume the role as AANA’s president,” Dr. Tokish remarks. “I’m looking forward to engaging with our membership in expanding AANA’s research and advocacy blueprints through several new initiatives.”


Helping to develop and expand the Military Advanced Surgical Training (MAST) program has been one of Dr. Tokish’s primary roles during his service on the board. The program represents several years of work to establish an ideal curriculum of arthroscopic and minimally invasive surgical education for military Orthopaedic Surgeons, as well as to validate AANA’s approach to restoring surgical skills degradation and maintenance of skills.


“Traditional sports medicine injuries are commonly treated by our members both military and civilian, and it is critical that those skills are maintained or restored after absences due to deployments, family leave or for health issues,” Dr. Tokish states. “The MAST program is incredibly important because it validates methods for maintaining those skills during absences and optimally restoring them upon return.”


Another initiative that is of interest to the AANA Membership is the changing landscape of the job market. Due to changes in employment and private practice, as well as the rise in private equity influences, the factors that promote the “ideal” job environment are increasingly sought advice.


AANA has embarked on an initiative called “The AANA Happiness Project,” which will gather data from the membership on the factors that separate surgeon fulfillment from frustration. Dr. Tokish envisions findings that will lead to publications that help members more deeply understand aspects of the job environment that are worthy of investment. The results may be surprising.


“Many of us [physicians] get asked by colleagues and even Fellows in training about what they should be looking for in a job or what makes up a good job,” Dr. Tokish explains. “It would be amazing to have the membership of over 5,500 members give us an idea about what factors drive worth and relevance in the sports medicine workforce and which factors determine how fulfilled a surgeon feels with their work.”


Additionally, Dr. Tokish aims to help expand the future of minimally invasive surgery through research opportunities that will lead to the creation of important Current Procedural Terminology (CPT)© codes for certain procedures.


Dr. Tokish joins a prestigious presidential line dating back to 1981, when the organization was formed to promote, encourage, support and foster the development and dissemination of knowledge of arthroscopy for the improvement of the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. AANA is the primary source of continuing medical education for arthroscopists and the most respected conduit for new techniques and information on arthroscopy.

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