APEX - Advancement | Power | Education | Excellence

The AOA’s APEX Leadership Program:
Premium education for the orthopaedic leader
Sharpen tools, deepen skills, achieve pinnacle performance.

AOA is proud to announce a new partnership with the University of Southern California (USC) — a leadership education offering for orthopaedic leaders: AOA/USC APEX Leadership Program.


A new brochure is now available  outlining program highlights, learning objectives, and a "spotlight" on the USC faculty who will be administering the program. The brochure also contains a breakdown of the 50 instructional hours outlining the dates and locations of the in-person sessions.  Details are also provided about the monthly virtual gatherings, off-campus team projects, individual assignments, and modules that are taught in the distance learning portion of the ten-month program.  Download the brochure here. 

APEX is a ten-month “deep dive” leadership development program designed for the specific needs of orthopaedic surgeon leaders. Following in the tradition of the AOA-Kellogg Leadership Series and AOA Leadership Immersion Series with University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, the APEX Leadership Certificate Program will cover personal leadership, strategic analysis, organizational culture, effective negotiations, and leadership for high-performing teams. 

Using a cohort learning model, participants work in a collegial environment with professional networking opportunities to build strong bonds for years to come. When it is over, you will be proud to have been a part of this prestigious experience. Space is limited. Don’t miss your opportunity to participate in this valuable and prestigious experience.

Participants will work on their own personal capstone project in which they will apply the lessons and skills learned to provide solutions within their own institution or department.  

AOA Members - $9,800
Non-members - $10,800

“The new APEX Leadership Program is a unique offering for all orthopaedic surgeons. We’ve taken careful consideration to develop this program with the specific needs of our surgeons in mind. In this dynamic everchanging environment, these personal leadership and executive skills are more important than ever.”
– Theodore W. Parsons, MD, FACS, FAOA Professor and Chair, Henry Ford Hospital
APEX Program Ambassador

Partnership with USC
With a long history of developing leadership programs for the healthcare industry, the AOA is honored to partner with the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, Executive Education (USC MSBEE) to launch the APEX Leadership Program. USC is consistently ranked as one of the best business schools in the United States and is recognized for its intellectually rigorous, engaging, and cutting-edge curriculum.

Who Should Attend?
Orthopaedic leaders who wish to achieve prime leadership status in the orthopaedic community and in their workplace will find value in this experience. Have you considered an MBA or aspired to enhance your leadership position, but time constraints were a barrier? AOA’s signature blend of leadership development, with direct relevance to orthopaedics and issues confronting medicine, allows individuals at any stage of their career to expand their knowledge and leadership skills. 

The AOA USC APEX Leadership Program Cohort Year

Three In-Person Sessions (40 instructional hours):

Relevant case studies, experiential hands-on exercises, simulation activities, small breakout sessions, interactive classes, and online discussions, provide a vibrant learning environment to connect with other orthopaedic leaders and enhance your leadership skills.

  • February 15-16, 2019
    Marriot Suites O’Hare (hotel block to open shortly)  
    Rosemont, IL
  • June 29, 2019
    San Diego, CA | AOA Annual Leadership Meeting
    Marriot Marquis San Diego Marina - San Diego, CA
  • October 4-5, 2019
    Los Angeles, CA
    University of Southern California Marshall School of Business Executive Education

Virtual Learning and Coursework (10 instructional hours)

A blend of instructive online courses and interactive webinars designed to extend and enrich the cohort’s collective learning and bridge components studied in the three in-person sessions. These sessions include off-campus team projects, individual assignments, and modules that are taught in a distance learning format. A monthly virtual gathering of the cohort and USC faculty to cover:

  • Understanding the Health Care Industry & the Political Environment
  • Disruption / Strategic Mindset
  • Organizational Culture
  • Strategic Analysis for Competitive Advantage
  • Introduction to Culture Assessment Tool: Self and Organizational Diagnosis
  • Review of Assessment Results 
  • Personal Leadership
  • Project Work / Coaching 
  • Effectively Negotiating with the Power of Persuasion
  • Leadership Course / Teams
  • Driving Change 
  • Power and Influence
  • Leading Teams
  • Leading and Managing Organizational Change 
  • Project Review and Implementation


Culture Assessment Tool: Self and Organizational Diagnosis

The January session will be a special orientation/introduction in which USC faculty will distribute a pre-course survey examining participants’ existing vs. ideal culture. The assessment will drive the cohort’s learning, helping to gauge their own individual leadership style, to apply the action needed for improvement, influence and competitive advantage. 

Program Highlights that make APEX Unique

The AOA | USC APEX Leadership Program melds the power of face-to-face education with the convenience of distance-learning formats to tackle the essential leadership development skills required of surgeons today.

  • Cohort Model for Learning
    • Participants will benefit from a year-long shared learning experience
    • Intimate peer networking, and collegiality in a small setting
    • Builds strong, life-long tight-knit bonds
  •  AOA Ambassadors
    • Three recognized orthopaedic leaders will serve as Ambassadors for the 2019 cohort, partnering with our expert USC faculty to enrich the course experience.
    • These Ambassadors represent the concerns and priorities of orthopaedic surgeons who encounter everyday leadership challenges within health care. AOA Ambassadors contribute to the development of the course, contribute to course development, participate alongside learners, and serve as educators, to link executive management concepts to the work done by physician leaders.
    • At the conclusion of 2019, current AOA Ambassadors will select three stand out APEX Alumni graduates to serve in this prestigious role as Ambassadors for 2020.
  • Capstone Project
    • Identify a leadership project to incorporate the skills acquired to provide solutions valuable to you and your institution.
    • Determine how to change or influence your organizational culture
    • Apply skills obtained to formulate an action plan.  
    • USC faculty will provide one-on-one engagement with each cohort member and feedback over the course of the 10-month project.
  • Graduate with AOA Alumni Status
    • Cohort graduates will emerge into an esteemed and highly coveted group of APEX alumni. 
  • Leadership Self-Assessment for Personal Development and Leading Teams
    • Diagnose your personal leadership style
    • Develop and expand your personal skills and amplify your success in leading others.


APEX Learning Objectives include:

Develop a Strategic Mindset

  • Explore the relationship between strategy, market structure, and the impact of frontline activities on strategic goals.
  • Unlock and apply the mystery of the strategy formation process.

Agility for the Health Care Industry

  • Strengthen the grasp on policy, competitors, and trends in the health care industry will enliven your leadership.   

Map the Organizational Culture

  • Learn how culture is reflected in ongoing interactions.
  • Determine how the various facets of culture function as six important levers for impacting organizational performance and effectiveness.   

Personal Leadership

  • Explore effective leadership styles and when to assume each role in different situations.
  • Delve into the role of accountability and its relationship with personal development.
  • Examine  executive leadership: integrity, vision, innovation, and interpersonal relations. 

Effectively Negotiating/Power of Persuasion

  • Uncover communication methods to achieve win-win outcomes.
  • Master emotional intelligence, perfect the art of persuasion, and triage difficult situations.
  • Recognize how various power and influence dynamics serve and hinder leaders.   

Strategic Analysis for Competitive Advantage

  • Learn how to make strategic choices in an analytical and integrative manner.
  • Address the challenge of sustainability, maximize the long-term value of the organization.
  • Meet the challenge of changing technologies and increasing competition.   

Leadership for High Performing Teams

  • Understand the keys to effective people management.
  • Identify different management styles and when to use them.
  • Attain the skills necessary for building teams, facilitating, and leading groups.