The Challenges of Change: Is Orthopaedics Ready?*
Vernon T. Tolo, MD

I want to take a few moments to express my thanks for the incredible support that I have had over the years from my orthopaedic colleagues; my children, Eric and Jennifer; and especially my wife, Charlene. Charlene has always been there for me, in a loving and understanding way, despite my time away from many parent and home responsibilities. I dedicate this talk to her.

It is a rare opportunity to stand before one's professional peers and friends to speak about orthopaedic concerns, to attempt to find appropriate solutions for these concerns, and to speculate on the future. It is a rare opportunity to play a major part in shaping the future of our wonderful world of orthopaedics. It is a rare opportunity but one that I prize. I thank all of you for providing it to me.

Change is everywhere and affects everything around us. Change can be instantaneous or it can be evolutionary. Changes in world politics can be far-reaching, as recently demonstrated in the United States. The economies of the world and individual countries fluctuate and change. Changes in climate are being seen. These and other macro changes certainly affect all of us.

But the challenges of change that I would like to address this morning relate to change of a different type-a type that is more personal to us as individuals and more pertinent to the Academy as an organization of orthopaedic surgeons. Values change for orthopaedists from one generation to the next and among ethnic groups. Personal goals evolve over a lifetime and change from one generation to the next. The habits and beliefs of our patients change and vary from one generation and from one ethnic group to the next. There has certainly been a dramatic change in the role that women have today …


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