Scott Beecher Scutchfield, MD, FAAOS, receives American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ highest leadership honor

ROSEMONT, Ill. (March 30, 2020)—The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) presented its 2020 William W. Tipton Jr., MD, Leadership Award to Scott Beecher Scutchfield, MD, FAAOS.

Scott Beecher Scutchfield, MD, FAAOS
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The Tipton Leadership Award recognizes AAOS members who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities that have benefitted the orthopaedic community, patients, and/or the American public. The award honors and celebrates the life, accomplishments, and qualities of the late William W. Tipton Jr., MD, an orthopaedic surgeon, educator, and former AAOS chief executive officer.

Dr. Scutchfield’s long history of leadership in both volunteer and professional capacities includes many achievements. Over the years he has worked tirelessly—within the AAOS as well as local and state orthopaedic organizations and societies—to develop and advance initiatives that enhance the orthopaedic profession and improve patient care.

“I have known and worked closely with Scott for many years, and I can personally attest to his exceptional service to AAOS, his patients, and the orthopaedic community. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award,” said James D. Heckman, MD, FAAOS, a past president of AAOS.

As a member of the AAOS Board of Directors and chair of the Board of Councilors, Dr. Scutchfield was instrumental in the development of the Communications Council and the Communications Skills Mentoring Program. The program, which was designed to improve communication among surgeons and patients, placed special emphasis on culturally competent care.

During his time on the Board of Directors, the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons was formed to engage in advocacy activities on behalf of patients and the orthopaedic profession and the Orthopaedic Political Action Committee was subsequently created. Dr. Scutchfield’s interest in advocacy also led him to take time off from his clinical practice to serve in Washington, D.C., as Legislative Associate for Health Affairs for his local congressman. While there, he worked alongside the AAOS Office of Government Relations to establish the Academy’s Health Policy Fellowship Program.

Dr. Scutchfield’s additional volunteer and professional capacities include serving as a member of the AAOS Communications Cabinet, chair of the Bylaws Committee, member of the Resolutions Committee, and delegate to the Kentucky Medical Association. Under his tenure as president of the Kentucky Orthopaedic Society, the organization made significant improvements to its programming and substantially increased its membership. As a member of the first class of instructors at the Bayer Institute for Patient Physician Communication, he helped many orthopaedic surgeons from around the country improve their communication skills and care of patients.

Dr. Scutchfield has also been a leader in advancing minority interests and promoting diversity in orthopaedics. After his return from Washington, D.C., he helped establish an independent department of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Medicine and was one of the driving forces for diversification within the department’s residency program. As associate professor of orthopaedics at UK, he mentored residents and young attendings, and as chief of Orthopaedics at the UK-affiliated Lexington VA Medical Center he worked to help them understand implications of patient care management.

William John Robb III, MD, who has known Dr. Scutchfield for more than 25 years, says Dr. Scutchfield has been a dedicated leader in every phase of his career. Yet at the same time, he is very much a team player, recognizing that he is only as strong as those around him.

“Scott is always there when needed—quietly helping others to understand that they can do more than they imagine—and then finding a way to get it done without taking any credit and allowing others to celebrate their successes,” said Dr. Robb.

Dr. Scutchfield earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Morehead State University in 1970. After pursuing graduate studies in physiology for one year, he earned his medical degree from the UK College of Medicine in 1975. Dr. Scutchfield’s graduate medical education included a surgery internship at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and an orthopaedic residency at MUSC/Greenville Shriners Hospital. He served as MUSC chief resident from 1979–1980, after which he entered private practice in Danville, Ky. Now semi-retired, Dr. Scutchfield has a part-time faculty appointment in the department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the UK College of Medicine and performs clinical work at the Lexington VA Medical Center.

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About the AAOS
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS is the trusted leader in advancing musculoskeletal health. It provides the highest quality, most comprehensive education to help orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals at every career level best treat patients in their daily practices. The AAOS is the source for information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related musculoskeletal health care issues and it leads the health care discussion on advancing quality.

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