In November 2005, the AOA Executive Committee approved guidance entitled, “Professionalism Guiding Leadership.” These principles describe the standards of professional behavior for the orthopaedic surgery community endorsed by the American Orthopaedic Association.

In 2009 and with subsequent updates, the AOA implemented a disclosure policy applicable to all AOA committee members designed to provide increased transparency in AOA decision-making. The full policy is attached here, and provisions include the following:

    • Each committee member will provide, on an annual basis, written disclosure of third party relationships and financial amounts (in defined category ranges) received from third parties to the chair and provide updated, verbal disclosure of new conflicts at each committee meeting.
    • An AOA member who is identified as a potential committee chair shall disclose in a written document to the appointing officer(s) all actual or potential conflicts before the appointment decision is made.
    • Committee Chairs are charged with actively managing committee business and interactions based upon these disclosures.

Starting in March 2013 and subsequently reviewed on a regular basis, the Executive Committee reviewed the entirety of the AOA disclosure and conflict management policies and processes, which resulted in important changes, including:

  • The Leadership Selection Guidance Document was changed to a policy. As a policy, this document establishes more concrete criteria for which each Nominating Committee must execute formation of the AOA elected slate.
  • The existing Disclosure and Management Policy was amended to require Officers to terminate existing consulting and speaker bureau agreements, certain royalty arrangements, and not enter into any new commercial orthopedic or medical or insurance company agreements while in office.
  • Further, all AOA Executive Committee members have complied and continue to comply with full disclosure of conflicts of interest according to the AOA policies.

View full disclosure policy

The AOA stands by its policies and procedures designed to create and maintain transparency and good governance, as well as the individuals elected to office by the membership. As an organization, the AOA believes that the traits and characteristics of professionalism are important in the effective leadership of medical organizations. Among these characteristics is a commitment to understanding and working to guide AOA business to address a broad spectrum of critical issues facing orthopedics in a transparent and objective manner.