February 2001 Bulletin

Decade endorses ICOE efforts

By Stuart L. Weinstein, MD

When the Bone and Joint Decade kicked off in early 2000, the International Center for Orthopaedic Education (ICOE) had been addressing the need for musculoskeletal education for six years.

The Bone and Joint Decade’s International Steering Committee recognized the ICOE’s efforts by placing a link to the ICOE home page on its Web site. The committee also formally endorsed the ICOE as an educational program, the only program to achieve this distinction to date.

ICOE aims to advance the goals of the Bone and Joint Decade by providing better patient care through more opportunities for orthopaedic education. The free web-based program serves as an instrument for postgraduate international exchange, connecting offering institutions with applicants.

Orthopaedic organizations around the world are joining the Bone and Joint Decade in showing their support for the ICOE. Links on web sites of organizations such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, British Orthopaedic Association, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), Orthopaedic Research Society and World Orthopaedic Concern direct orthopaedic surgeons and researchers to the ICOE site and help increase usage of the program.

An update to the ICOE site now makes it even easier for organizations to promote the Bone and Joint Decade’s goal of improving diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. ICOE participants such as Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University, as well as Orthopaedics Overseas, can now post their educational and exchange opportunities directly to the web site (http://www.icoe.aoassn.org).

Mayo’s 17 educational opportunities include basic research fellowships as well as observerships in specialties such as sports medicine, trauma and pediatric orthopaedics. Johns Hopkins offers almost 15 opportunities, including clinical experiences, basic research fellowships, and observerships in specialties such as hip and knee reconstruction. Orthopaedics Overseas offers almost 90 opportunities to teach or provide service in countries such as Peru, Indonesia and South Africa.

Donations from the OREF and DePuy Acromed augmented existing funding, allowing the ICOE to add the online posting feature, which makes the site more user-friendly while decreasing the amount of staff time needed to enter listings.

This feature mirrors the application process, which allows applicants to register and search for experiences online from anywhere in the world at any time. Applicants also can set up the database to notify them via e-mail when new offerings meet their specified criteria.

To date, the program has offered almost 2,600 opportunities in 70 nations to orthopaedic surgeons from about 90 countries across six continents.

Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, is chair of the International Center for Orthopaedic Education and chair of the AAOS Bone and Joint Decade Committee.

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