Organized in 1971, the Association of Orthopaedic Chairmen held its first meeting on November 19, 1971. Founders established the association because they sensed a need for a unified voice that could speak to medical school deans about problems confronting academic departments or divisions of orthopaedic surgery.
During the first meeting, the group passed a constitution and bylaws, which included the purpose for which the organization was founded. These were 1) to provide a forum for discussion of problems related to undergraduate and graduate education in orthopaedic surgery and in medical schools, 2) to provide a mechanism of coordination and planning of activities requiring cooperation between departments of orthopaedic surgery and orthopaedic residencies, and 3) to serve as an active liaison unit between the specialty of orthopaedic surgery and those organizations interested in medical education.
Begun with 56 members, the association increased to 183 members in 1989 and 398 by 1991. Shortly thereafter AOS expanded its membership to include fellowship directors and orthopaedic faculty. Membership now totals 623.
Their Mission Statement:
- To advance and improve the competence and effectiveness of the faculty of academic orthopaedic programs in the fields of undergraduate, graduate and fellowship education in all the disciplines which are represented within the field of Orthopaedic Surgery.
- To encourage and advance the basic and clinical investigative efforts of the membership (especially the young orthopaedic physician scientist) in order to enhance the transfer of orthopaedic science to clinical practice of the specialty.
- To foster and stimulate education of the membership and the student bodies that we serve in pathophysiology of disease and basic and clinical science in an effort to ultimately improve the quality of care rendered to our patients.
- To serve as a forum for exchange of views on aspects of academic practice of orthopaedics including (but not limited to) ethical academic administration, residency and fellowship matters, curriculum design, grant applications, academic opportunities and other like logistic and philosophic matters which impact on the quality and character of academic life.
- To interact with other specialties and organizations concerned with the disciplines of education, basic science and clinical practice in an academic setting.