Statement: 2020 Virtual AOA Annual Leadership Meetings: Why We Went Virtual 

The American Orthopaedic Association sent out the below letter on behalf of Christopher D. Harner, MD, FAOA, President, announcing the AOA leadership's decision to shift to an all virtual meeting in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Letter Published on April 28, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of The American Orthopaedic Association’s Executive Committee, I hope this finds you and your family well, and safe, wherever you might be during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 2020 AOA Annual Leadership Meetings: An Update

The 2020 AOA Annual Leadership Meetings have been slated to take place on June 9-13, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. Program Chair Rex Haydon, MD, FAOA, has shaped this year’s Meeting into an incredible lineup featuring orthopaedic thought-leaders. All year, we have been looking forward to seeing our colleagues and peers present an AOA program that challenges and provokes bold conversations on pressing critical issues.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic demands that leaders take stock and adjust. At this moment in history, we face unprecedented tasks, and—as leaders—we must rise to new occasions.

After much careful deliberation, the AOA leadership and staff have decided on a new format that will best meet the needs of its members and affiliates.

So for this year, I’m pleased to announce: the AOA will conduct its entire 2020 AOA Annual Leadership Meetings virtually.

New Format: Annual Leadership Meeting

The new Virtual AOA Annual Leadership Meeting will deliver five symposia, addressing a range of subjects. From assessing quality in expanding health care systems, to recruitment and retention strategies for underrepresented minorities in orthopaedics, to COVID-19’s impact on Graduate Medical Education: each session will bring members vital content much needed in this moment.

The Virtual Meeting will also stream the Opening Ceremony (with Howard Steele Lecturer Bruce L. Gillingham, MD, FAOA, the Surgeon General of the United States Navy speaking on leadership), the live AOA Business Meeting, and an address by our AOA First-President Elect Theodore "Ted" W. Parsons, III, MD, FAOA.

The Virtual Meeting occurs on select dates, starting Wednesday, June 10, and concluding Tuesday, July 21.

New Format: The Forums

The AOA’s various forums will also convert to a virtual format.

The AOA’s Own the Bone Symposium and the CORD Conference will serve as crucial resources during the month of June, while the Emerging Leaders Forum and the C. McCollister Evarts Residents Leadership Forum will adapt to deliver the same intensive young-leader development for which we are known by so many in the orthopaedic world.

Next Steps

Anyone who is already registered for the meeting will be rolled over into the corresponding virtual session. Those who have not registered but wish to sign up for the streamed event will be able to do so within a matter of weeks.


I thank you each for your dedication to the AOA and for your contributions to our specialty and patients during this time. We remain committed to harnessing the depth of wisdom and strength that exist within the AOA’s membership to propel our specialty through this international crisis.

As we approach June, and the conclusion of my year as President, I hope you will join us virtually for what should be an outstanding meeting during this unprecedented time.


Christopher D. Harner, MD, FAOA
2019-2020 President
The American Orthopaedic Association