The AOA Leadership Principles

As the organization for orthopaedic leaders, the AOA offers its members, affiliates, and the broader house of orthopaedics this inspired vision for the five essential leadership principles—and the behaviors expected from those living by these principles—to guide us into the future.

“To truly excel, the orthopaedic leader must include, envision, balance, orchestrate, and grow,” Jonathan Braman, MD, FAOA says. “All of these rest on a foundation of credibility in the job that the leader is asked to accomplish.”

“You see the person you wish to be, the leader you hope to become expressed in just these few words.”

– George S. Dyer, MD, FAOA

About The Five Principles: A Vision for Orthopaedic Leadership

AOA Leadership Principles - Include


Assemble diverse teams, create a caring and inclusive culture, and seek others’ perspectives.

What this looks like:

  • Promote an equitable and psychologically safe environment
  • Build trust-based relationships based on genuine compassion
  • Invite opinions of team members in shared decision making
  • Engage in constructive conversations and manage conflict


Commit to aspirational goals and inspire others through a sense of purpose and humility.

What this looks like:

  • Create a vision and strategy that addresses expected shifts in healthcare
  • Lead authentically, understanding your own and others’ sense of purpose
  • Influence and empower others to effect change


Role model healthy habits and exhibit resilience and confidence in challenging situations.

What this looks like:

  • Exercise emotional agility and maintain composure
  • Prioritize activities, set boundaries, and encourage individual approaches to wellness
  • Act with integrity, guided by personal values, and ethical standards


Tackle challenges and mobilize resources.

What this looks like:

  • Deconstruct complex problems and develop solutions that account for system-wide impact
  • Make intentional decisions
  • Delegate with clear expectations and mutual accountability


Cultivate personal, professional, and system development

What this looks like:

  • Foster a culture of feedback and reflection
  • Promote strengths and aspirations of others through sponsorship, mentorship, and coaching
  • Challenge the status quo with an innovator’s mindset

Thank You: Our Advisory Group

Thank you to this diverse group of orthopaedic surgeon leaders, who led the development of this project. These individuals brought wisdom from a variety of perspectives and experiences, including in the area of career, practice model, subspecialty, practice roles, and racial and gender diversity.

  • Jonathan P. Braman, MD, FAOA, University of Minnesota, Shoulder and Elbow
  • Rashard Dacus, MD, FAOA, University of Virginia, Hand and Upper Extremity
  • Christopher J. Dy, MD, Washington University, St. Louis, Hand and Upper Extremity
  • Joseph J. Hoegler, MD, FAOA, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Trauma
  • John S. Kirkpatrick, MD, MS, FAOA, University of Central Florida, Spine
  • Toni M. McLaurin, MD, FAOA,  NYU Langone, Trauma
  • Samir Mehta, MD, FAOA, University of Pennsylvania,  rauma
  • Mary K. Mulcahey, MD, FAOA, Tulane University, Sports Medicine
  • Mary I. O’Connor, MD, FAOA, Vori Health, Adult Recon
  • Eric Strauss, MD, FAOA, NYU Langone, Sports Medicine
  • Gregory Tierney, MD, MBA, FAOA, CMO Benefis Health System, Sports Medicine
  • Joseph K. Weistroffer, MD, FAOA, Western Michigan University, Spine

Special thanks to experts Philipp Ebert and Matthew Joseph, for guiding the AOA through this process.