AAOS Bulletin - February, 2005

OKO marks third anniversary

By William A. Grana, MD, MPH

January 2005 marked the third anniversary of Orthopaedic Knowledge Online (OKO), the AAOS Web site for orthopaedic education on the Internet. The site has undergone tremendous growth and evolution, and now maybe a good time to reflect on the place that OKO has in the educational experience of AAOS fellows, members and residents.

    William Grana, MD

    Just-in-time, all the time

    From its beginnings, OKO was intended to be a just-in-time educational resource for orthopaedic surgeons and residents looking for a reliable online source of information about specific clinical topics. Online videos of surgical techniques, succinct text and a strong visual design were the cornerstone of OKO from the very start.

Since January 2002, through the efforts of a talented editorial board, OKO has become both a publisher of original educational content and online continuing medical education (CME) content and a portal to the multiple educational opportunities available through the AAOS. Recently, many orthopaedic specialty societies have begun partnering with OKO to develop and deliver high-quality education and information geared to the specialty.

By the end of this year, OKO will have reached almost half of all AAOS members and about a third of residents and international members. Most return to the site repeatedly. Through group memberships with international orthopaedic societies, surgeons around the world are accessing OKO as well.

Industry support

As noted in the article on page 56, OKO’s excellence has been recognized by industry through supportive grants. Smith & Nephew has provided a five-year unrestricted educational grant through Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics and Smith & Nephew Endoscopy. This grant will make it possible to further expand the educational programs offered in four sections—trauma, adult reconstruction, sports medicine, and foot and ankle.

Pfizer has provided a three-year unrestricted educational grant through 2008 in support of the further development of information on pain management that reflects the current standards of practice for orthopaedic surgeons and other medical professionals in the management of pain and painful conditions.

Rich contents

Even as OKO has expanded, it has retained its focus on content. Currently, OKO contains more than 80 videos on surgical techniques and physical evaluation, almost 70 topics across all orthopaedic specialties, and reviews of the clinical and management options for selected orthopaedic conditions. This depth of content continues to make OKO a rich resource for online education.

There are currently six interactive CME programs, with more planned for 2005. In addition, OKO users can access other online CME courses offered by the Academy through the site, as well as online examinations, non-credit CME and the CME course calendar. The CME portal on OKO makes it easy for Academy members or residents to access all available CME from the Academy.

Recognizing the growing trend among online publishers to provide online access to print publications, OKO has introduced the Virtual Bookstore. This section of the site includes access to past volumes of Instructional Course Lectures online for searching and downloading. Over time, additional publications will be added to this area so that, for a fee, members and residents will have print material of interest immediately available.

The newest section of OKO is the Orthopaedic Review. This area was established to help orthopaedic surgeons and residents taking in-training examinations, preparing for Board exams or participating in the newly established Maintenance of Certification process. Currently, the Orthopaedic Review area is populated with short-bits of information, based on the Orthopaedic Knowledge Updates texts. Orthopaedic Review, under the direction of OKO Associate Editor John Sarwark, MD, will be adding additional self-study programs as well as links to practice management, fellowship, and residency program information. The Orthopaedic Review area will be a resource for young physicians with information on a wide variety of clinical topics.

Survey results

The annual OKO survey is one of many ways for site users to provide feedback and make suggestions for valuable new features or programs. Past surveys have prompted changes in navigation, the addition of online CME, easier access to videos and improvements in the delivery of video, text, and images. A recent survey identified several important features that will be included as we expand the Orthpaedic Review section and prompted the development of a search function for the site.

In addition to partnerships with specialty societies, OKO is beginning to collaborate with the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS). Beginning this year, topics and video on OKO will be coordinated with surgical technique articles in JAAOS. This joint effort will further expand the educational benefits of AAOS membership.

I hope this review gives you an idea of the scope and accomplishments of OKO, which is a significant educational resource for AAOS members. If you have not explored OKO or tapped into its many resources, I invite you to visit the site at http://www.aaos.org/oko.

William A. Grana, MD, is editor-in-chief of OKO. He can be reached at clawrenc@email.arizona.edu


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