AAOS Bylaw Amendments Groups 1 & 2

The AAOS bylaw amendment process is completed. The Fellowship voted and Bylaw Amendment Groups 1 and 2 were not adopted. The Society thanks PAOrtho members for your engagement on these issues. 

By now you have received or will soon receive your ballot to vote on the proposed AAOS bylaw amendments. This critical vote could forever change our national organization and not for the better. Over the past several days, you received emails from two past PAOrtho presidents. We ask you to review one more. Past and present AAOS leaders from across the nation are united in their opposition to bylaw amendment Groups 1 and 2. Below, please see their powerful message on this critical issue.

Past & Present Leader Letter

Response to Proponent FAQ

The AAOS Fellowship’s voice should not be diminished. The Board of Councilors and the Board of Specialties role in our national organization should not be altered. Please VOTE NO on bylaw amendment Groups 1 and 2.


I hope you are well and safe in these difficult times.

This week, I anticipate you will be asked to consider AAOS bylaw amendments. Their form will be Group 1, 2 and 3. I ask you to VOTE NO on Groups 1 and 2.

In my long career, I happily served in various PAOrtho board positions, including president. I also had the distinct honor to serve as your BOC representative to the AAOS. Over the years, these two organizations have been successful because they have been member focused. I fear the pending AAOS bylaw amendments will divert the leaderships’ attention away from the Fellowship.

Our state, our nation, indeed the entire world, are in the midst of a global pandemic. The AAOS should suspend this bylaw amendment process and allow the Fellowship to focus on pandemic response. If the bylaw amendments are as benign as the AAOS leadership would have you believe, then delay should not be a problem.

Sadly, at this point our only recourse is to VOTE NO on bylaw amendments Groups 1 and 2. By doing so, we send the leadership a strong message that the Fellowship is the AAOS and our voice will not be diminished.

Thank you for your continued support of PAOrtho. Show your support of the AAOS Fellowship by voting no on bylaw amendment Groups 1 and 2.

For all of us, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has been an important element of our professional careers. This vital organization has been a source of high quality education, strong federal advocacy, and member-responsive policy. Throughout our many years of practice, the Fellowship, through the Board of Councilors, has driven our Academy’s significant achievements and an “orthopaedic surgeon centric” agenda. But that representation is about to change.

Soon, you will be asked to vote on bylaws amendments that will fundamentally and forever change our Academy’s governance. If adopted, these amendments will remove state representation on the BOC and reduce its overall duties and influence over the board of directors.

In effect, Pennsylvania orthopaedic surgeons will lose our voice in our national organization.

We are mystified to understand why our leadership is forcing this vote during the greatest national health crisis in a century. The COVID 19 pandemic should mandate that AAOS leadership postpone any structural modifications to our Academy’s governance and address the pressing issues at hand. Sadly, they are pushing forward with a vote to which many of our colleagues may pay little attention as we all act and react to the current pandemic.

We ask you to be attentive to the Academy communication you will soon receive and VOTE NO on Groups 1 and 2 of the bylaw amendments. Our Academy’s leadership has not shared with the Fellowship why these amendments are indicated now, nor have they addressed the possible unintended consequences. Please stand with us and all your colleagues to preserve our voice in our Academy.

John D. Kelly IV, MD
1999 – PAOrtho President
2000 to 2007 – BOC
2006 to 2007 – BOC Executive Committee
2008 to 2011 – BOS
2009 – Chair, Communications Committee
2009 – Executive Committee
Co-Chair BOC/BOS Communications Project Team
AAOS Professionalism Committee

Michael J. Gratch, MD
2013 – PAOrtho President
2018 to 2019 – BOC

Reject Bylaws Amendment Groups 1 & 2

Frequently Asked Questions Fact Sheet