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Friday, March 12, 2004

Brazilian orthopaedists take Annual Meeting home

By Mary Ann Porucznik

More than 70 international representatives from orthopaedic societies around the world heard how Brazil brings the AAOS Annual Meeting home at yesterday's International Presidents' Breakfast.

Professor Neylor Lasman, MD, 2004 president of the Brazilian Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (SBOT), discussed the partnership that has developed during the past decade between his organization and the AAOS. AAOS members are regularly invited to SBOT meetings as guest speakers; the prestige and connections between the two organizations have helped SBOT become the premier specialty association in Brazil.

SBOT has a membership of approximately 8,000 orthopaedic surgeons, which represents 80 percent of all orthopaedic surgeons in the country. A well-organized society with 27 regional branches and 13 subspecialty committees, SBOT is the only specialty organization that can authorize the specialist title under the guidelines of the Brazilian Medical Society. In addition to providing members with a virtual library of more than 50 online periodicals, SBOT also works with the Academy's literary agent in Brazil to translate the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons into Portuguese and also has translated two Orthopaedic Knowledge Update books (Trauma and Pediatrics).

Under the direction of its Permanent Education Committee, SBOT developed a way to bring the AAOS Annual Meeting to its members three years ago. Professor Marcos Esner Musafir, MD, of the University of Rio de Janiero, outlined the program.

Taking it on the road
Planning begins even before Brazilian orthopaedists sign up for the AAOS Annual Meeting. Based on the preliminary program, the SBOT selects 12 learning courses or symposia on topics of immediate, practical interest. SBOT members who plan to attend the meeting and have a focus in the subject area then attend the selected courses. They may meet with the presenters, discuss the topic further and request permission to use handouts and/or slides.

When they return home, SBOT members who attended the same course get together and prepare a script that reflects the information presented. The idea is to represent the American viewpoint accurately, particularly on new procedures or reasons for selecting one technique over another.

Meetings are planned around the country to encourage maximum attendance. In the first year, there were only two sessions, which reached approximately 800 surgeons. This year, there will be sessions in five different cities, with a projected attendance of 2,800 surgeons, nearly a third of all Brazilian orthopaedic surgeons.

Simultaneous sessions are held in the north and south of the country and the same presentation is given at each session. Attendees receive 5 continuing medical education credits, toward the 80 required over five years for continued certification. The sessions are supported by educational grants from Pfizer, and the presenters donate their time.

Although there are challenges, particularly with scheduling and lecture development, SBOT has found that the benefits far outweigh the difficulties. "The opportunity to present the scientific highlights of the AAOS Annual Meeting, which is the premier education event for orthopaedists," said Dr. Musafir, "enables us to present an exciting educational program to many more surgeons who otherwise would not be able to attend the meeting."

What's ahead?
"The AAOS is a model," said Dr. Lasmar, "that we can learn from and grow. In the future, we hope to lead the way to creating an international federation of orthopaedic associations."

In the question-and-answer session that followed the presentation, attendees noted other AAOS collaborative efforts with societies across the world. The AAOS has supported courses in Egypt and is working with Iraqi physicians to rebuild that country's medical associations. In the future, scientific coverage of podium presentations, poster exhibits and scientific exhibits prepared for Academy News also may be translated into various languages.

Additional information presented at the meeting included an announcement by Bruce D. Browner, MD, outgoing chair of the AAOS International Committee, on World Health Day, April 7, 2004. The World Health Organization hopes to focus attention on Road Safety on that day because of the devastating impact vehicular accidents have, particularly in developing nations. James H. Herndon, MD, the Academy's president, encouraged international presidents to work with the AAOS to increase attendance by their members at the Academy Meeting.

A valuable partnership
At the conclusion of the meeting, Dr. Browner introduced Miguel E. Cabanela, MD, of Rochester, Minn., who is the incoming chair of the International Committee. On behalf of SBOT, Drs. Lasmar and Musafir presented a plaque to Dr. Herndon, recognizing the cooperation and partnership between SBOT and AAOS.

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Last modified 12/March/2004