March 10, 2021 | A message from Dr. Parsons


On behalf of the American Orthopaedic Association’s Executive Committee, I trust this letter finds you well, healthy, and safe.

The 2021 AOA Annual Leadership Meetings: An Update

The 2021 AOA Annual Leadership Meetings and its affiliated events will be completely virtual this summer.

When the COVID-19 pandemic burst into our lives in 2020, we found ourselves in uncharted territory in every aspect of our lives. I believe the AOA rose to the occasion and pivoted to a successful, all virtual AOA Annual Leadership Meeting in 2020. As a difficult 2020 came to a close, we were truly anticipating a time in 2021 when we might gather together in person with our fellow members and colleagues.
The future we envisioned in the post-pandemic world was a hybrid 2021 AOA Annual Leadership Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Program Chair Bill Moutzouros, MD, FAOA has coordinated a schedule of incredible offerings. He and the Programming Committees planned for vibrant in person sessions, augmented by virtual symposia and access to other educational content, for those unable to travel but still eager to connect. This promised to be a dynamic, hybrid event open to all interested in orthopaedic leadership.

Unfortunately, the uncertainty created by the ongoing pandemic remains. As we draw close to June, it has become very clear that there are still significant restrictions in our ability to gather together in person.

Consequently, we must shift to gather virtually once again in 2021.

Factors for Consideration

The AOA Executive Committee identified four major factors in determining why the 2021 Annual Leadership Meetings would be a fully virtual experience. After reviewing a survey to our membership (which revealed almost 60% of respondents were faced with hardship in attending) these four factors were:

  • Travel restrictions for many attendees
  • Concern over family member/others vaccine status
  • Emergence of new variants of the virus
  • Strict State of New Mexico rules imposed upon gatherings; currently gatherings of more than 10 are prohibited with no timeline in sight for relaxing these restrictions

We aspire to bring symposia that provoke bold conversation on pressing critical issues to all in the orthopaedic space. From AOA members to CORD affiliates, domestic audiences to international ones: our objective is clear and continues despite the fully virtual format. We will strive to bring superb content of the highest caliber coupled with meaningful participant engagement.

What this Means: Save the Dates

The AOA will launch its 2021 Virtual Annual Leadership Meetings in early May, with evening programming scheduled throughout the month.

The Annual Meeting will culminate in an intensive core of symposia, ceremony, and networking the week of June 8-June 12.

The AOA’s various forums will also convert to a virtual format. Through May and June, the AOA’s Own the Bone Symposium, the C. McCollister Evarts Resident Leadership Forum, the Summer CORD Conference, and the Emerging Leaders Forum will each deliver the same critical leadership content for which the AOA is known.

All of the virtual programming will be hosted on a robust interactive platform; this will also include networking opportunities for attendees.

Looking Forward

I thank each of you for your commitment to the AOA and for your contributions to our specialty, our patients, and to the principles of leadership. We remain committed to harnessing the depth of wisdom and strength that exist within the AOA’s membership to propel our specialty through this national crisis.

As we approach June, and the conclusion of my year as President, I sincerely hope you will join us for the Annual Meeting and its affiliated leadership meetings. A full agenda will be released shortly, followed by registration details.

With sincere wishes for your continued success and wellbeing in these challenging times,
Theodore Parsons, III, MD, FACS, FAOA Signature

Theodore W. Parsons, III, MD, FACS, FAOA
2020-2021 President
The American Orthopaedic Association