Reflection of my term as President of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society

Asif M. Ilyas, MD December 4th, 2019

Dr. Asif Ilyas is an orthopaedic surgeon at Rothman Orthopaedics Institute specializing in hand, wrist, elbow and orthopaedic trauma surgery. He spent the last year as the President of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society, working on various projects and issues that affect the practice of orthopaedic surgery. Read his wrap-up below as he summarizes the work that was accomplished this year as he looks forward to the future.

On November 8, 2019, I completed my term as President of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society. The mission of this society is to promote the highest quality of musculoskeletal care for our patients and support the practice of orthopaedic surgery by our physicians.

As I look back on the whirlwind year, I have several reflections—first, I have to acknowledge my patients, practice partners and staff at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, and my family for their patience with me traveling, speaking, and simply being away serving the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society’s surgeons and patients. Second, I am thankful and humbled by the trust bestowed by the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society's board and membership to lead them during this period of challenge and growth.

There were a number of major issues we tackled and successes to boot over the last term:

However, most rewarding was our work on curbing opioid prescribing, dependency, and abuse. In particular, we tackled:

These efforts culminated in our hosting Governor Tom Wolf, Health Secretary, Dr. Rachel Levine and Attorney General, Josh Shapiro at the state's first "Opioid Symposium" organized and hosted by the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society, aimed to increase discussion and identify solutions through collaborations between the state's elected officials and physicians. Rothman Orthopaedics and the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society has been at the forefront of identifying policy and practice solutions for the Opioid Epidemic, which has disproportionately affected Pennsylvanians. In 2017, there were 44 drug-related overdose deaths annually for every 100,000 Pennsylvanians (majority of which were from opioids), compared to an average of 21 deaths per 100,000 Americans nationally. Fortunately, the rate of opioid prescription has dropped 57 prescriptions per 100 Pennsylvanians in 2017 compared to 83 prescriptions per 100 Pennsylvanians in 2012. Yet, much more work needs to be done...

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