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AOA Critical Issues in Education

A New Channel for Educational Content in JBJS Open Access

AOA Critical Issues in Education

Hurwitz, Shepard R. MD, FACHE, FAOA; Deputy Editor, AOA Critical Issues in Education; James, Michelle A. MD, FAOA; Associate Deputy Editor, AOA Critical Issues in Education

Author Information
doi: 10.2106/JBJS.OA.20.00061
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  • Disclosures

Earlier this year, through a partnership of the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) and The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, Inc., the AOA Critical Issues in Education online channel was launched in JBJS Open Access. We are pleased to serve as Deputy Editor and Associate Deputy Editor of this new channel, having previously served together as deputy editors of the Topics in Training section of JBJS. We welcome submissions to the new channel and look forward to working with authors in creating a dynamic forum for education-related content benefiting our readers.

As we embark on this new endeavor, we would also like to clarify some items related to submissions, to help guide our authors.

  • 1) Manuscripts submitted for consideration should be topically centered on orthopaedic education pertaining to undergraduate medical education, resident training and education (graduate medical education), fellowship training, and new techniques/technology for those in orthopaedic practice. Examples of topics include the following:
    • Pathways for supporting under-represented minorities in the selection of orthopaedic surgery as a career: Improving the process for selecting orthopaedic surgery residents;
    • Identifying impediments to learning experienced by orthopaedic residents and possible remediation;
    • Improving the orthopaedic surgery curriculum;
    • The value of out-of-residency experiences;
    • Teaching leadership and administration skills; and
    • Best methods for practicing surgeons to learn new skills.
  • 2) Manuscripts should present research based on methods that are accepted in the orthopaedic literature. The research can be informal and based on other peer-reviewed literature, but the manuscripts should not be expert opinion pieces or data-mined information that is already available in print or online.
  • 3) Surveys and questionnaires have a role in education and supporting literature, but the deputy editors will consider only studies that follow best practices, as described in the Best Practices for Survey Research, published by the American Association for Public Opinion Research1. Also helpful for validating surveys and questionnaires is a recent editorial piece by Phillips and Artino in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education entitled Lies, Damned Lies, and Surveys2. Other useful references include a guideline in the Annals of Emergency Medicine3 and Designing Good Questionnaires by Krosnick and Fabrigar4. The take-home point is that surveys, such as outcome measures, need a certain amount of validation and rigor. Simply creating a survey or questionnaire as part of the “study” is likely to be met with resistance by the deputy editors, and authors are encouraged to review and keep these references in mind when preparing their work for this new channel.
  • 4) Manuscripts submitted by a fellow of the AOA or an AOA program affiliate (including the Emerging Leaders Program, Own the Bone institution, traveling fellow, APEX program, or CORD Affiliate) will receive a substantial discount on the application/publication fee (they will be charged $1,000 versus the standard $2,250). We would like to reassure all authors that manuscripts will be given a fair peer-reviewed evaluation, with no bias based on the AOA membership status of the authors.

We encourage submissions to this new channel from a range of voices in our field, including osteopathic orthopaedists, recent graduates of training programs, nonphysician orthopaedic educators, and thought leaders in applied technology. We look forward to publishing new information to improve the education of residents and practicing orthopaedic surgeons, with the ultimate goal of improving orthopaedic patient care.


1. American Association for Public Opinion Research. Best Practices for Survey Research. Available at: Accessed April 17, 2020.
2. Phillips AW, Artino AR Jr. Lies, damned lies, and surveys. J Grad Med Educ. 2017;9(6):677-9.
3. Annals of Emergency Medicine. Guidelines and Preferences for Specific Research Study Designs. Available at: Accessed April 17, 2020.
4. Krosnick JA, Fabrigar LR. Designing Good Questionnaires. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 1998.

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