HOT TOPIC: Ethics and Professionalism for the Orthopaedic Surgeon


Ethical conduct and professionalism are the cornerstones of medical practice for all physicians, including orthopaedic surgeons. It demands placing the interests of patients above those of the physician. It requires establishing and maintaining standards of competence and integrity, and providing authoritative guidance to patients and the community at large about matters of health. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) developed what has become the Code of Medical Ethics and Professionalism for Orthopaedic Surgeons in 1988 as a guide to define the essentials of honorable conduct for the orthopaedic surgeon in the physician-patient relationship. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand and other orthopaedic specialty societies have followed the lead of the AAOS in the development and implementation of their own codes of ethics and professionalism. The goals of these programs are to strengthen our profession and optimize safe and effective patient care.

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