New Slate of Leaders Assume Reins at AAOS
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) have a new set of leaders. John R. Tongue, M.D., became president of the academy, assuming the title from Daniel J. Berry, M.D., a Dartmouth College and Harvard Medical School graduate who held the title for the past year.
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An active member of the AAOS, Tongue has served on the Academy’s Board of Directors for the past two years. He also served as chair of the AAOS Board of Councilors and has previously volunteered on numerous other committees and task forces including the Council on Education, the Committee on Public Education and the Council on Research.
Tongue has received numerous honors and accolades, including the 2003 AAOS Humanitarian Award, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association Public Service Award for his work in passing the Oregon Safety Belt Law, and the Oregon Medical Association’s Doctor-Citizen of the Year Award.
His advocacy efforts over the last 20 years in Oregon helped create a statewide safety belt law that has reduced vehicular fatalities and injuries in the Beaver State, making Tongue a no-apologies “roadway warrior.” Ninety-seven percent of drivers in Oregon now wear safety belts; before the law was enacted only 45 percent of drivers wore safety belts.
Tongue also pioneered the AAOS Communication Skills Mentoring Program in 2000 to improve communications between members and patients—skills that are important in the patient/physician relationship for both understanding and trust. Communication, among other issues, is one of the top priorities for Tongue’s presidency. Other issues include continued work on quality initiatives and the socioeconomic value orthopedic interventions bring to the table.
“Recently, American medicine in general, and specifically orthopaedic surgery, has received a great deal of negative media coverage,” Tongue said in his inaugural speech. “While some of this criticism is justified, a few members of the media, bent on printing sensational stories, have also misrepresented many issues. History teaches us this is not new. Thomas Jefferson noted that ‘advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.’ So, the winds of change and public opinion on healthcare reform will blow hard and could shift back and forth. We must now be bold and clear in presenting our message. As [Abraham] Lincoln noted: ‘Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.’ ”
A graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and the St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri, Tongue served as an intern and general surgery resident at the University of Oregon Medical School in Portland, Ore. He then completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the San Francisco (Calif.) Orthopaedic Residency Training Program, a sports medicine fellowship at the Orthopaedic Fracture Clinic in Eugene, Ore., and a hand surgery fellowship at the University of California in San Francisco.
Tongue currently maintains a private practice in Tualatin, Ore., and is a clinical associate professor at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.
“I'm a big fan of American history,” Tongue said. “I draw inspiration from the courage of our country's early leaders. As David McCullough said of history, there is ‘...no better subject to get caught up in to understand what it is to be a human being, and particularly what it is to lead in any field.’ Despite our images of their powdered wigs and satin garb, our founding fathers were tough, persistent leaders, who argued constantly, yet understood the value of compromise. Still, they never gave up on their ideals. As Thomas Jefferson put it: ‘On matters of style, swim with the current. On matters of principle, stand like a rock.’ That would translate today to something like ‘Be strong on vision, flexible on details.’ However you put it, I think it's very sound advice for us in 2012.”
Assuming Tongue’s former position as first vice president is Joshua J. Jacobs, M.D., of Chicago Ill. Frederick M. Azar, M.D., chief of staff of the Campbell Clinic in Germantown, Tenn., slips into the second vice presidency position.
Jacobs is a board-certified and practicing adult reconstructive orthopedic surgeon with an expertise in total joint replacement and a research interest in the biocompatibility of orthopedic biomaterials. Currently, he serves as the William A. Hark, M.D./Susanne G. Swift Professor and chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He is a partner and member of the Executive Committee of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush—a private practice—and also is an adjunct professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the McCormick Technological Institute at Northwestern University in Chicago.
Jacobs graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor of science in materials science and engineering, earned a doctorate of medicine with honors from the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine, and then completed an orthopedic surgery residency in the Combined Harvard Orthopaedic Surgery Program in Boston, Mass. Subsequently, he completed a fellowship in joint replacement surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago under the tutelage of Jorge Galante, M.D.
Jacobs had previously served for six years as chair of the AAOS Council on Research. He is past president of the Orthopaedic Research Society and the United States Bone and Joint Decade. He also served as a trustee of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation and is past chair of Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices of the American Society for Testing and Materials International. Jacobs completed a four-year term on the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Advisory Council and has chaired multiple National Institute of Health study sections.
Jacobs has won several research awards, including the Ann Doner Vaughan Kappa Delta Award, has published more than 175 peer-reviewed manuscripts, has co-edited three books and co-authored more than 35 book chapters. He has presented extensively at a variety of national and international continuing medical education venues.
“In my role with the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade, I focused on raising the level of awareness of the public, professionals, and policymakers concerning the tremendous burden of musculoskeletal disease on our society,” Jacobs said. “This has helped to prepare me for a leadership role in the AAOS. It is critical for our profession, and for the patients that we serve, that public policy facilitates access to specialty musculoskeletal care in order to mitigate this burden. Going forward, the AAOS will continue to be a leader advocating for continued access to orthopaedic surgical specialists, and for enhanced public investment in orthopaedic research.”
After earning his medical degree from Tulane University of Medicine, Azar completed an internship at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in Missouri and a residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Tennessee-Campbell Clinic. He then completed a fellowship in sports medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala. Currently, Azar serves as chief of staff of the Campbell Clinic as well as a professor and director of the sports medicine fellowship program in the University of Tennessee-Campbell Clinic Department of Orthopedic Surgery. He also was director of the department’s residency program for 10 years.
“Being a part of the Academy’s presidential line means that I will have a voice in directing the focus of the orthopaedic profession,” Azar said. “Our organization has many challenges ahead, but these challenges also bring great opportunities, especially in our core mission areas such as education, advocacy, patient care, quality, communications, and unity. I look forward to working with other board members to advance these initiatives over the next few years.”
Active in numerous professional societies, Azar is a member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the Arthroscopy Association of North America, and the American Orthopaedic Association, along with many other national and international groups. Azar also serves as the team physician for the NBA Memphis Grizzlies, as well as the University of Memphis and Christian Brothers University sports teams.
Azar has volunteered with the Academy for nearly 20 years and was a graduate of the inaugural AAOS Leadership Fellows Program class in 2003. Having served most recently as Academy treasurer, Azar is familiar with the current AAOS board structure. He most recently served as treasurer of AAOS and has chaired several academy project teams, committees and sub-committees.