December 2004 Bulletin

Spain: ‘Guest Nation’ at 2005 Annual Meeting

By Carolyn Rogers

Orthopaedic research and innovation isn’t confined to the United States. As AAOS President Robert W. Bucholz, MD, noted in his “Across the President’s Desk” message in the October Bulletin many seminal orthopaedic surgical procedures originated abroad.

That’s just one of the reasons the Academy is expanding and strengthening its interactions with international colleagues. As part of these efforts, the Academy will unveil a new Guest Nation program at the 2005 Annual Meeting. Each year, a series of activities will focus on the chosen Guest Nation and the issues confronting the practice of orthopaedics and orthopaedic patient care in that country.

The Guest Nation will be introduced during the Opening Ceremonies. There also will be a special Guest Nation booth, located on street level in the Convention Center, across from Room 140A.

“We have much to learn from our international colleagues,” says Dr. Bucholz. “International orthopaedists crave the chance not only to benefit from the wide array of American educational offerings, but also to share their expertise and clinical achievements.”

First to be honored

The Academy asked the Spanish Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (SECOT ) to represent Spain as the first Guest Nation, and SECOT has accepted the invitation. SECOT, with more than 3,000 members, has educational goals similar to the Academy’s.

SECOT and the Academy also have a long-standing history of mutual esteem and cooperation. Over the last several years, the Academy has developed a particularly close relationship with the Spanish society’s board of directors. “We work with them very closely,” says Marisa McCarren, manager of international rights and educational programs for the Academy. “They do a wonderful job of promoting our products, reinforcing the service the Academy provides.”

AAOS has been an exhibitor at SECOT’s annual congress for the last three years, and has been warmly welcomed by congress participants.

“There is a growing interest in AAOS products, services and meetings. In turn, SECOT has participated with an educational exhibit at our Annual Meeting. This has been a very positive experience for them as well,” says William P. Cooney, III, MD, who recently chaired the first joint AAOS-SECOT Instructional Course Lecture (ICL) as part of the SECOT annual congress.

AAOS/SECOT instructional course

The ICL educational program, which took place on Oct. 6, 2004, during the SECOT congress in Madrid, was a collaborative effort between SECOT and the Academy. Along with Dr. Cooney, the course on wrist fractures featured four AAOS members as faculty: Deigo L. Fernandez, MD; Jesse B. Jupiter, MD; Peter J. Stern, MD; and Scott Wolfe, MD.

In addition, the two societies recently reached an agreement to offer advanced educational courses to SECOT members.

“SECOT feels that the educational needs of their specialists can be expanded and refined, and has asked AAOS to collaborate in the effort,” says Dr. Cooney. “The AAOS International Committee has approved the first trial program for June 2005.”

Spanish Monograph series

During the last two years, SECOT and the Academy also have been involved in a joint publishing project—the Spanish-language Monograph series.

By combining articles written by AAOS and SECOT, the organizations produced a series of monographs now available in both Spain and Latin America.

“We have really worked as a team and are pleased with the outcome,” says McCarren.

Other Spanish-language products, such as Orthopaedic Knowledge Update and the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), have also proven popular among Spanish orthopaedic surgeons

“JAAOS is being published in Spanish by an independent publisher,” says Dr. Cooney. “The editorial board of the Spanish edition is comprised of very distinguished SECOT members.”

Scholarship program

The SECOT scholarship program—now in its third year—is yet another collaborative project. The program awards SECOT member surgeons with scholarships to attend an AAOS OLC surgical skills course in the United States. The scholarships are funded through pharmaceutical companies and private foundations in Spain.

“The Academy works very closely with the scholarship winners and in some cases arranges for observerships during their stay,” says Dr. Cooney. “The exchange of information has been very rich and resulted in new friendships.”

These projects are made possible through the dedication and commitment of both SECOT and AAOS members, says Dr. Cooney. “They deserve to be recognized for their continuous efforts.”

International attendance benefits all

International attendance at the AAOS Annual Meeting has averaged more than 3,500 attendees for the last five years. Although this number represents approximately 25 percent of all physician attendees, international orthopaedists account for 38 percent of all AAOS product sales at the meeting.

“The presence of international orthopaedic surgeons at our Annual Meeting and other educational programs enriches their scientific and educational value for all,” says Dr. Bucholz. “We look forward to welcoming our friends from Spain for this Annual Meeting, and we trust that many SECOT members will join us in Washington.”

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