Message from the President

Main Article Content

Mininder S. Kocher


This is the first issue of JPOSNA® to contain original scientific research and represents a major milestone for POSNA’s journal. I hope that JPOSNA® becomes a valued source for POSNA members to publish and disseminate scientific information to advance the field of pediatric orthopaedics. Congratulations to Ken Noonan, MD, Lisa DuShane, the associate editors, the reviewers, and all who have helped bring this to fruition.

Research is critical to the mission of POSNA. In fact, it is prominent in our mission statement: “To advance pediatric orthopaedics by promoting education, research, and quality care.” Important ways POSNA fulfills this research mission are through the scientific sessions at the POSNA Annual Meetings, POSNA research grants and awards, and the POSNA research mentorship program.

As a society, POSNA members are more actively involved with research than other orthopaedic subspecialties. In the 2013 Member Needs Assessment Survey, over 70% of POSNA members reported being actively involved in research efforts. In the 2020 survey, members ranked research-related areas as two of the top four most valuable aspects of their POSNA membership: opportunities to present research (3) and support for research efforts (4). In addition, the #1 aspect (education) includes the presentation of research studies. Approximately half of POSNA members are involved in a study group and nearly 20% have received a POSNA research grant. For this year’s Annual Meeting in Vancouver, over 900 abstracts of scientific research were submitted.

The importance of research to POSNA is reflected in the budget. For 2022, POSNA will award nine research grants for a total of $440,000. Research represents 12% of the POSNA budget. There is substantial return on this investment to POSNA members in terms of funding for research, presenting research, advancing academic careers, creating material for POSNA CME meetings, stimulating innovation and, most importantly, advancing pediatric orthopaedic care.

My own research journey is intimately connected to POSNA. As a resident in the 1990s at the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Program, I saw a cartoon in The New Yorker of surgeons in the operating room with the tagline: “Let’s just start cutting and see what happens.” This cartoon resonated with me as I was seeing very different ways of treating the same clinical problem at the four different hospitals in our program. Around this time, Jack Wennberg at Dartmouth was pointing out shocking small area variations, and David Sackett at McMaster was advocating for evidence-based medicine. This motivated me to pursue an MPH in Clinical Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. The “Kocher Criteria” to differentiate septic arthritis vs. transient synovitis of the hip was actually my MPH thesis in 1998. My early career research mentor came through POSNA—Jim Wright at the Hospital for Sick Kids. I received POSNA research grants to advance my clinical research efforts culminating in the Angela S.M. Kuo Memorial Award and the Arthur H. Huene Memorial Award. My organizational involvement with POSNA also began through research as a member of the Research Committee and the Evidence-Based Practice Committee, eventually leading to chair of the Research Council.

As you reflect on your own research journey, or as you set out at the start of your research journey, I hope you have POSNA as a guide on that path. I hope POSNA helps facilitate that journey with research grants, opportunities to present research at meetings, career development, research mentors, and an additional vehicle for publishing—JPOSNA®. Ultimately, this focus on research at POSNA will help fulfill our vision: “A world with optimal musculoskeletal health for all children.”

Article Details

How to Cite
Mininder S. Kocher. (2022). Message from the President. Journal of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, 4(1).