By Cynthia Oertel
The Academy’s international educational efforts recently received a standing ovation from more than 300 Egyptian orthopaedic surgeons when seven U.S. fellows spent four days as faculty members for a comprehensive orthopaedic review course at Ain Shams Specialized Hospital in Cairo, Egypt.
This was the second comprehensive orthopaedic review course offered by the Academy to an international orthopaedic society’s members. In July, the Academy conducted a similar comprehensive review course in Rio de Janeiro for 300 Brazilian and Argentinian orthopaedic surgeons. (Previously, the Academy had organized one- to two-day courses on a single clinical topic for international orthopaedists.)
The establishment of these comprehensive review courses are largely due to the efforts of the International Committee. Since its inception in 1995, the committee has worked to expand the Academy’s educational activities overseas.
As a result, the Academy has been represented at international orthopaedic society meetings in Europe, Central and South America, Australia and Japan. The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons now is translated in French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. These Academy educational products are available to international orthopaedists.
Not until recently did the committee begin working with other international orthopaedic societies to offer comprehensive orthopaedic review courses.
"The enthusiasm and responsiveness of the participants at the first comprehensive review course in Brazil was excellent," said course chairman Joseph P. Leddy, MD. "It was a good initial effort by the Academy to let our international members know that we value the exchange of ideas from everyone in the orthopaedic community."
The Egyptian course had been in the making for several years. "We were invited by orthopaedic surgeon Hassan El-Zaher Hassan to conduct a comprehensive review course in his country," said Egyptian course chairman Moheb S.A. Moneim, MD. "At that time, Professor El-Zaher requested that the course be taught at the resident level."
Once it was announced by Professor El-Zaher, former president of the Egyptian Orthopaedic Association (EOA), that Academy fellows would be traveling to Cairo to conduct a orthopaedic review course, enthusiasm for the course grew within the orthopaedic community.
"We started to notice that the educational level of the registrants had exceeded what we originally planned," Dr. Moneim said. "We had a lot of practicing orthopaedistsóindividuals who were university professors, in private practice, affiliated with hospitalsówho began registering to attend."
The faculty decided the course format would be similar to other comprehensive review courses conducted by the Academy in the United States - presentations focusing on pediatrics, spine, upper and lower extremity and trauma.
The attendees’ enthusiasm for the course content was remarkable. "I have been a faculty member for many continuing medical education courses, but I have never witnessed such a commitment to learning as I did in Egypt," said Neil E. Green, MD.
Dr. Moneim also commented on the enthusiasm among the participants. "After every lecture, there were at least four to six questions asked," he said. "After leaving the podium, we were bombarded with even more questions," Dr. Green said. "Some attendees also brought along their own patient case studies for us to comment on."
Following the comprehensive review course, Dr. Moneim attended the EOA-Pan Arab meeting. "Some of the same registrants of our course were present at this meeting and I heard a lot of positive feedback," he said. "The bottom line is that it was a great opportunity for orthopaedic surgeons halfway across the world to come together for a few days to share knowledge and common experiences."