Summer 2013


66th Annual Mtg

VOS 67th Annual Meeting
May 2-4, 2014
Hotel Roanoke
Roanoke, VA

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Messages from the
Outgoing President  |  Incoming President

What I Learned During My Term

By Jonathan E. Isaacs, MD
Outgoing President, Virginia Orthopaedic Society

Dear Virginia Orthopaedic Society Members,

Jonathan Isaacs, MD
Jonathan E. Isaacs, MD
VOS President

Ok, here goes…. I admit it. I didn’t get it. I was a young, academic hand surgeon. I belonged to the Virginia Orthopaedic Society, but hadn’t been to a meeting since I was a resident. My good friends and colleagues, Drs. Bobby Chhabra and Doug Boardman, who were both actively involved in the Society, encouraged and really pulled me aboard. I still remember my first Board Meeting…I had no idea what was going on. What was the society all about?  What was our role in the orthopaedic community? To me, the Society had meant fair educational opportunities at nearby, but often expensive (i.e. The Homestead) venues. Since I was in academics, I was attending at least two or three hand meetings a year already. Between my wife’s on-call schedule (she’s an OB-Gyn), my schedule, two kids, a dog, neglected hobbies, neglected chores, and a pile of half completed projects cluttering my desk, how could I possibly attend another meeting? So, if this is how you feel, I get it. I understand.  But, I was wrong…and if you don’t see the value of this professional society, you are wrong, too.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the last several years as I’ve ascended the ranks from member, to Board member, to officer, and finally to President – The Virginia Orthopaedic Society is essential to your ability to successfully practice orthopaedics (surgical and non-surgical) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VOS protects you and speaks on your behalf whether you know it or not. Here are just some examples of things that did not happen because of the VOS representing your interests:  podiatrists doing ankle replacements and tibial fractures; physical therapists diagnosing, treating, and dispositioning patients without a physician’s prescription or involvement; naturalists and other nonconventional caregivers being given the same rights and privileges as MDs and DOs; podiatrists performing skin grafts; worker’s compensation being reimbursed on a Medicare-based fee schedule. You might not be aware that all these things DID NOT happen, but you sure would notice if they DID happen.

So, what about my admission regarding “educational value” of the annual meetings? If this was once true, it is not anymore. As I sat in the audience a few weeks ago, I thought two things. One, I couldn’t believe how good the lectures were. Several years ago (as Program Chair), I pushed a philosophy that the annual meeting had to offer something that the specialty meetings (i.e. all those hand meetings I was attending) did not...something that bridged across specialties. We had lectures on how to take care of the pregnant patient, how to manage inflammatory arthritis disease modifying medications in the peri-operative period, and what is new in the rapidly changing and overwhelming worlds of antibiotics and blood substitutes. We brought in political speakers such as Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Bill Hazel (an orthopaedic surgeon) to give us a glimpse into our future, and leaders from other medical organizations to share their success stories in dealing with the changing insurance and reimbursement models coming whether we want them or not. And, because we still serve many general orthopaedic surgeons that do not attend specialty meetings, we presented high yield and often controversial topics such as surgical vs. non-surgical treatment of clavicle fractures. Not only were they great topics, but they were delivered by competent, knowledgable, and engaging speakers. How did the meeting get this good? The second thing I thought was, “I can’t believe how few people are here.” As I looked around the sparsely filled room, listening to a nationally known and respected speaker, I was embarrassed. 

So, the question that started forming in my brain was, “Why do we have an Annual Meeting?” Is it to raise funds so that the Society can exist? Truthfully, the majority of our revenue for the year comes from industry sponsorship of this meeting. The more attendees we have, the more value industry sees in supporting the meeting. I’ve tried to make the point that there is great value in the Society itself so, even if this is the case, it’s not so bad. The Annual Meeting is a “fund raiser.”  We had about a hundred attendees this year. Not very many when you consider the size of the membership and not very many when you consider how many orthopaedic and orthopaedic related specialists there are in Virginia. Still, this hundred or so were given a great learning experience – isn’t this enough of a reason to have an Annual Meeting? If one person gains knowledge and provides better care for his/her patients because of us, isn’t that worthwhile? Or is the meeting a way to gain exposure and to remind people that we are here. The postcards, the emails, the fliers are all good advertisements not just of the meeting, but of the organization as a whole. We purposely held the meeting up in DC (not only to make it a destination worth visiting) but also to reach out to the many orthopaedists in the Northern Virginia area. It is not clear yet how many Northern Virginia doctors attended who otherwise would not have, but our increased number of non-member attendees or new members out of this area was modest at best.

Well, probably the answer is a bit of everything. But it is something to think about.  Don’t think about the VOS in terms of “what does the VOS mean to me?” – think in terms of “what would my practice be like without the VOS?” The leadership of the VOS will continue to represent you and will continue to try and convince you of the enormous value we all see in the organization. We ask in return that you support the VOS. Remain a member, recruit someone who is not a member and commit to attending the Annual Meeting next year.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your President this past year. I leave you in good hands with Dr. John Mann and the rest of the Board of Directors. We could not exist, much less thrive as we are, without the excellent help of Andrew Mann, Stewart Hinckley, and the rest of the professional society management team at Ruggles Service Corporation.  And finally, a special thanks to Cal Whitehead and Ralston King who organize and run the Virginia OrthoPAC – they are the true superstars behind the scenes that give the VOS its real voice.


A Message From the Incoming President

By John Mann, MD
Incoming President, Virginia Orthopaedic Society

Dear Virginia Orthopaedic Society Members,

First of all, I want to congratulate Drs. Seth Cheatham and Jeff Schulman on a fanstastic 66th annual VOS meeting at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC. The meeting was kicked off by recognizing Dr. Hugh M. Bryan III of Gloucester with the VOS Career Award at the opening reception. Dr. Bryan most recently served as the 2011 - 2012  Medical Society of Virginia President. There were 92 registrants plus guests and exhibitors at the meeting. The highlight of the meeting was a visiting address by AAOS President, Dr. Joshua Jacobs.

The VOS Board is very excited about the future of our Society. Our goal over the next year is to increase the membership. To this end, we as a Board have chosen to broaden the membership of the Board so that six different regions will have representation. These regions are as follows: Capital, Coastal, Northern Virginia, Central, South Central and Southwest. Our hope is that by expanding our representation on the Board, we may get each region more involved with our society.  

Dr. Jonathan Isaacs and Cal Whitehead, our state lobbyist, did a fantastic job last year in dealing the workers' compensation legislation. We are sure the workers' compensation issue will come up again in the future and we, as a society, will need to be vigilant to represent our members and patients of the Commonwealth as we feel that erosion of workers' compensation reimbursement would deleteriously affect patient access. 

We are looking forward to hosting the VOS Annual Meeting next year at the Hotel Roanoke, in Roanoke, Virginia. Dr. Michael Wolfe and Dr. Trevor Owen will be our Program Directors for the meeting. We will continue to have national and state experts update us on cutting edge treatment modalities for limb deformity correction, femoral acetabular impingement and controversies in total joint replacement. We hope to see as many members, physician assistants and nurse practitioners at the meeting as is possible.