The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annually recognizes three of its living members with the following awards that are presented at the Annual Meeting:
- Diversity Award: This Diversity Award recognizes Academy Fellows and Emeritus Members who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding commitment to making orthopaedics more representative of and accessible to the diverse population it serves. The Diversity Advisory Board recommends the Diversity Award winner to the AAOS Board of Directors for approval.
- Humanitarian Award: The Humanitarian award recognizes living Fellows and Emeritus Members of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons who have distinguished themselves through outstanding musculoskeletal-related humanitarian activities in the United States or abroad. The Communications Cabinet recommends the Humanitarian Award winner to the AAOS Board of Directors for approval.
- William W. Tipton, Jr, MD Leadership Award: The Tipton Award recognizes AAOS Fellows or Candidate Members who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities that have led to benefits for the orthopaedic community, patients and/or the American public. The Leadership Development Committee recommends the Tipton Award winner to the AAOS Board of Directors for approval.
The recognition of AAOS members through these three awards is an important and valued Academy activity. It is therefore important that the AAOS Awards process exemplify consistency, fairness and transparency. The following written policies supported by the three selection committees serves this purpose.
The following policy is established for the AAOS Awards:
- An individual may win more than one of these three awards. The only restrictions are that no one person can win an award in two consecutive years or for the same body of work.
- There is no limit to the number of times an individual may be nominated for an award. Nominators are encouraged to submit updated information as appropriate. The selection committee will monitor the reapplication process, recommending information be updated as appropriate.
- Current members of the committee selecting the award winner are not eligible to be nominated for the award being considered by their committee.
- Current members of the committee selecting the award winner shall not nominate or write letters of recommendation for any award nominee being considered by that committee.
- No member of any of the three selection committees may be nominated for the award selected by his/her committee until he or she has been off that committee for at least a period of three years.
- Current members of the AAOS Board of Directors are not eligible for any of the three awards, and shall not nominate or write letters of recommendation for any award nominee.
- No member of the AAOS Board of Directors may be nominated for any of the awards until he or she has been off the Board for at least a period of three years.
- Awards are not granted posthumously.
Changes to Policy: Future changes to policy will be brought before a project team of representatives of the three selection committees for consideration. All recommended changes will be submitted to the AAOS Board of Directors for approval.