AAOS Now, September 2007
How many orthopaedists does it take to...?
Is the United States facing a shortage of orthopaedic surgeons? Or are recent calls for more surgeons another false alarm? By Mary Ann Porucznik Last year, the New York Times asked “Who’ll treat us as we get older?” This year, Investor’s Business Daily asked “Is there a doctor in the house?” and Congress Daily AM wondered “Will there be enough physicians?”
Aching backs get support from FDA, but not payors
Two lumbar disk replacement systems have been approved by the FDA, but payors are backing a noncoverage decision from CMS Low back pain affects as many as 80 percent of all people at some time in their lives; during any single month, approximately 40 percent of Ameri-cans complain of low back pain. As a result, back pain is one of the primary reasons that patients see orthopaedists. Most low back pain is idiopathic and has an excellent prognosis.
Orthopaedists assume key leadership roles in AMA
By Robert C. Fine, JD, CAE, and Mary Ann Porucznik It may be only a coincidence, but the election of three AAOS fellows provides a unique opportunity for the “voice” of orthopaedics. When the American Medical Association (AMA) held the 2007 Annual Meeting of its House of Delegates this past June, approximately 1,500 physicians—from family practitioners to medical specialists—assembled in Chicago to take part in the organization’s main policy-making activities.