Kristy L. Weber, MD, FAAOS


Published 11/30/2019
Kristy L. Weber, MD, FAAOS

2020 Annual Meeting in Orlando: Discovery, Diverse Educational Opportunities … and Disney

Change is happening in the Academy. The Board-approved strategic plan, available at, requires a new level of focus on metrics and objectives needed to achieve our three strategic goals. You will find aspects of each of the goals actualized at the upcoming AAOS 2020 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., March 24–28, 2020.

Goal No. 1: deliver a personalized and seamless member experience

Program committee and data

First and foremost, the Annual Meeting focuses on your experience. The Annual Meeting Committee, led by Andrew H. Schmidt, MD, has partnered with a staff team, led by Susan McSorley. When combined, they are a driving force that has focused on innovation and creating a customized experience to ensure maximum value for attendees.

Three years ago, I asked Leesa M. Galatz, MD, FAAOS, to be the 2020 Central Program Committee Chair and Harpal S. Khanuja, MD, FAAOS, to be the 2020 Central Instructional Courses Committee Chair. The two of them, along with Matthew T. Provencher, MD, CAPT MC USNR, FAAOS, the Exhibits Committee Chair, have created a conducive learning environment that can be personalized to align with your interests.

It will not be the same AAOS meeting you attended the last time you were in Orlando or even this past year in Las Vegas. AAOS has carefully analyzed attendee tracking data (provided by last year’s badge chips) in order to better understand where attendees tend to congregate, how long they stay in educational sessions, and how they navigate the meeting space. Because of this analysis, the Instructional Courses and Program Committees have restructured many of the educational sessions to be 1.5 hours (versus two hours) to allow you to maximize your time. Other data-driven changes include a rearrangement of Academy Hall to offer better access to educational resources and more of the programs—such as posters, poster tours, the Orthopaedic Video Theater (OVT), the Career Center, and the new Engagement Theater—that attendees visit and value at the meeting.

New education and technology

There are new learning opportunities debuting in Orlando, including:

  • Orthopaedic Influencers: Watch and listen as residents interview orthopaedic leaders who have the power to positively change the field with their knowledge, position, and authority.
  • Engagement Theater: Experience this new small-group learning opportunity with daily, brief presentations on leadership, advocacy, quality, mentoring, membership benefits, volunteer opportunities, and much more.

We will continue to offer two poster sessions to bring more education to the meeting. The first session will be Tuesday–Wednesday, and the second session will be Thursday–Friday. ePosters can be viewed from both sessions starting on Tuesday.

The prior meeting mobile app is gone! The new My Academy mobile app will be available for free download this month from the App Store and Google Play. New user-friendly features include all continuing medical education (CME) and non-CME at the meeting; a mapping function to help you navigate the educational space and exhibit hall; better filtering options to help you find exactly what you need; and Connect, an opt-in feature that enables interaction between attendees and faculty.

Your name badge will again include a data chip to be used solely to assess aggregate data for the purpose of improving the 2021 meeting. No individual data will be tracked. And speaking of badges, you will no longer need to remember where you put your Instructional Course Lecture (ICL) tickets. All purchased sessions, with the exception of Specialty Day, will be programmed to your badge, and the QR code will be scanned at the session room door to allow entry.

Time-tested educational offerings

The Annual Meeting is the world’s premier orthopaedic event created by the largest musculoskeletal organization. There will be five days of education, innovation, and networking, allowing you to select what you choose to learn. Offerings include the latest in research, cutting-edge technology, and top-trending topics, including:

  • 1,000+ posters
  • 800+ expert faculty
  • 650+ industry exhibits (included with registration)
  • 220 ICLs
  • 25 symposia (included with registration)
  • 30+ formal case presentations
  • 10+ technical skills courses
  • OVT (included with registration)
  • new and improved Career Center
    (included with registration)
  • Specialty Day, offered by 13 specialty societies
  • up to 29.5 CME credits
Kristy L. Weber, MD, FAAOS
Matthew T. Provencher, MD CAPT MC USNR, FAAOS
Harpal S. Khanuja, MD, FAAOS
Leesa M. Galatz, MD, FAAOS

If you want to focus on a particular specialty program, you can choose an Educational Track with a variety of targeted sessions covering the most current scientific knowledge and practices. A track program is available for Adult Reconstruction Hip, Adult Reconstruction Knee, Foot and Ankle, Hand and Wrist, Musculoskeletal Oncology, Pediatrics, Shoulder and Elbow, Spine, Sports Medicine, and Trauma. You will need to reserve your seat, as tracks will fill quickly. Each track includes up to four ICLs.

Within the Exhibit Hall, there will be interactive presentations, including:

  • Innovation Theater: live demonstrations of products and solutions
  • Ask an Expert: opportunities to present your most difficult cases
  • TechTalks: technology-focused sessions led by orthopaedic experts

Finally, Your Academy will take place during an unopposed time on Thursday, March 26, 2020, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., where you will see the winners of the AAOS Tipton Leadership, Diversity, and Humanitarian awards; hear from me as I outline the many changes taking place within the Academy; and have the great opportunity to hear from the incoming president and first vice president, Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS, and Daniel K. Guy, MD, FAAOS, respectively.

Goal No. 2: equip members to thrive in a value-based environment and advance the quality of orthopaedic care

In addition to new evidence that will be presented at the Annual Meeting to allow orthopaedic surgeons to use what works and has value for their patients, there will be symposia and presentations focused on how to practice in the current healthcare environment. My president’s symposium will focus on quality- and value-based health care, balancing a visionary projection five years into the future and providing practical tactics you can use to thrive in the current system.

The AAOS Registry program will highlight the sixth annual public report for the American Joint Replacement Registry, as well a preview of the inaugural annual public report the Shoulder & Elbow Registry, so that you can see the power of collected patient outcomes in orthopaedics.

Goal No. 3: evolve the culture and governance of AAOS’ Board and volunteer structure to become more strategic, innovative, and diverse

At the Annual Meeting, AAOS leaders will address innovation when they meet with the Food and Drug Administration and industry representatives to find a path where both evidence and innovation can thrive in a value-based healthcare climate.

It used to be said that the Annual Meeting was one place where women did not have to wait in line at the
restrooms. The culture is slowly changing, and our meeting is changing with it to engage diverse attendees from orthopaedics, industry, and other specialties. To that end, there will be lactation rooms for new mothers easily accessible within the Orange County Convention Center. Offsite childcare services will be available, and attendees can access a list of providers at A prayer room will also be available to accommodate those of diverse faiths.

Why I am excited about AAOS 2020 in Orlando?

I consider the Annual Meeting the premier educational event for orthopaedic surgeons and a wonderful networking opportunity to reunite with friends and colleagues and connect with new mentors or leaders. The value of these five days is priceless if it leads to new knowledge that benefits your patients or a connection that leads to a new professional opportunity. Since the last Annual Meeting in Orlando in 2016, the city has renovated the convention center and adjacent hotels to make the area even easier to navigate.

In addition, there are numerous restaurants serving all types of cuisine within walking distance of the meeting. There are more theme parks and entertainment options than anywhere else in the world. My nieces, Marlo and Cora, will be joining me for the week and are enthusiastic about spending time with their aunt at the meeting—but probably more excited to explore Discovery Bay, Walt Disney World, and Universal Orlando Resort!

I hope to see as many of you as possible at the AAOS 2020 Annual Meeting. Think of it as spending spring break with your orthopaedic friends and colleagues while enjoying the sun.

Kristy L. Weber, MD, FAAOS, is president of AAOS, as well as a professor and vice chair of faculty affairs in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.