This year for the first time, the Academy's self-assessment examinations will be available on CD-ROM.
The Academy will not be abandoning its textbook versions of the examinations. Instead, the availability of the exams on CD-ROM is being viewed as an alternative to traditional ways of learning.
The new Windows or Macintosh software format on CD-ROM will allow orthopaedic surgeons to learn in a fun, fast-paced interactive environment. "Our goal is to facilitate learning by using techniques that improve access to information and provide opportunities for immediate feedback," says Stephen A. Albanese, MD, chairman, Committee on Evaluation.
The first examinations to be offered on CD-ROM are the Academy's 1996 Special Interest Self-Assessment Examinations.
In the past, when orthopaedic surgeons ordered a Special Interest Self-Assessment Examination, the Academy sent a packet containing a computer floppy disk and printed figures book. A series of questions would be displayed on the orthopaedic surgeon's computer. If the orthopaedic surgeon wanted to see a visual image of the anatomic area in question, the figures book with the accompanying printed images could be used.
With the new CD-ROM version, questions appear on the computer screen along with the accompanying images. Users can click on the computer screen so that the image is instantly enlarged to full size.
The Academy's conversion to CD-ROM starts with the 1996 Special Interest Self-Assessment Examination series-Anatomy Imaging, Musculoskeletal Tumors and Diseases, and Shoulder and Elbow. Orthopaedic surgeons also can purchase the 1995 Special Interest Self-Assessment Examination series on CD-ROM in late spring. Topics in the 1995 series include Adult Reconstructive Surgery of the Hip and Knee, Pediatric Orthopaedics, and Sports Medicine.
The 1996 Orthopaedic Self-Assessment Examination (OSAE), part of the Orthopaedic Knowledge Update 5 home study program, also will be available on CD-ROM.
The CD-ROM versions of the examinations are reasonably priced. The Special Interest Self-Assessment Examination costs $80; a package of three exams costs $180 for Academy members. The OSAE on CD-ROM (including the OKU 5 home study syllabus) costs $200 for Academy members. Orthopaedic surgeons can gain 100 hours of Category 1 CME credit by completing the OSAE home study program. To order, contact the Academy's customer service department, (800) 626-6726.