Orthopaedic Surgery holds a pivotal and comprehensive role in medicine. With its unique and proven potential to allow our patients to ‘live longer, happier and more productive lives’ our specialty provides an essential service to the public.  Yet during the emergence of the CoVID -19 pandemic our specialty, together with our partners in Musculoskeletal Medicine, was a ready target for governmental access restrictions. Furthermore, this year has seen social unrest call into question many values previously taken for granted in our country. In the medical arena healthcare as a basic right delivered by an increasingly inclusive workforce to patients regardless of age, gender, race and beliefs has emerged as an indisputably important agenda. The results of these changes set in motion are impossible to predict at present, but passively sitting them out is likely not a success strategy.

To cope with these and other unpredictable challenges I hope that we Orthopaedic Surgeons as the leading experts of musculoskeletal care will rapidly close rank across subspecialties, seniority, employment models and geographic location to speak with one voice. Further, I see a real need for all of us Orthopaedic Surgeons to get effectively organized.  For this to succeed we need improved access to real time information pertinent to our specialty from various input sources nationally and on a state level.

As incoming President of the Washington State Orthopaedic Association I see this organization as ideally situated to provide all of us practitioners with a reenergized platform for effective information exchange as well as representation on a State and National levels through our newly forged collaborations with the AAOS and WSMA and other organizations. I hope you will join us at our newly developed REOP meetings which will be locally cohosted CME events around our great state starting in 2021. While in virtual format during time of the pandemic, we look forward to presenting diverse topics in an appealing interactive and time effective format throughout the coming year. Also look forward to workshops dealing with insurance, malpractice, practice management and legislative issues that we at the WSOA are looking forward to bring to your screens via digital media in the coming year. To get us started in these initiatives we are proud to have received a special grant by the AAOS to better reach all of our Orthopaedic Surgeons everywhere in Washington.

Finally, I want to take the occasion of the beginning of my term as President of the Washington State Orthopaedic Association to recognize our Immediate Past President Nick Rajacich for his tremendous efforts and decisive leadership during critical times and our Board for their unwavering dedication and vision. And I do look forward to meeting our Orthopaedic Surgeon community around the state and hope that all of you will join our WSOA movement to help us represent Orthopaedic Surgery and its positive impact on patients in the face of rapid evolving challenges.

Jens Chapman, MD
WSOA President, 2020-2021

President’s Message – November 2020