October 2000 Bulletin

Plan OLC-Greece course

By Carolyn Rogers

A groundbreaking educational effort will be conducted by the Academy on October 19-20, in cooperation with the Hellenic Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Traumatology (EEXOT). More than 30 Greek orthopaedic surgeons will arrive at AAOS headquarters in Rosemont, Ill., to participate in an arthroscopic skills course that will incorporate a first-ever live video transmission of the course from the Orthopaedic Learning Center to several sites in Greece.

The shoulder and knee arthroscopy course is the outcropping of several years of discussions between Vassilis Tsemanis, MD, EEXOT president; Lynne Dowling, director of AAOS international programs; Bruce Browner, MD; and Robert D. D’Ambrosia, MD, 1999 AAOS president.

"A transmission such as this a first for the Academy," says James Tasto, MD, 1999 president of the Arthroscopy Association of North America and co-chair of the program, along with Dr. Tsemanis. "The two-hour shoulder portion of the course will be transmitted live back to Greece [via ISDN lines] to three or four different facilities…the communication will be two-way."

The Academy has been working closely with the EEXOT to plan and organize the effort. Prior to the course, the Greek surgeons will participate in two- and three-day observerships that have been arranged for them at various institutions across the United States. The AAOS/EEXOT program will begin at the Academy on Thursday, Oct. 19 with a formal tour of the Academy offices and facilities, followed by an afternoon welcoming reception. The course will take place on Friday.

"We’ve obtained a nationally and internationally recognized faculty for this course," Dr. Tasto says.

Eighteen U.S. faculty members will be involved, in addition to four or five senior Greek orthopaedic surgeons who will serve as assistants in the OLC, but will not actually be teaching the course.

"At the end of the course, the participants will be given a two-hour composite videotape of the program, as opposed to a syllabus," Dr. Tasto adds. "The tapes can be used to share their experience and the information with their colleagues back in Greece."

In addition, on the Saturday following the course, three different medical institutions in the Chicago area will offer tours of their orthopaedic departments to the surgeons.

"There are a lot of ‘eyes’ on this program," Dowling says, "We’ve used satellite technology in the OLC on a very limited basis, but this is the first time using ISDN lines. It’s exciting."

The Greek course is just the latest international endeavor by the Academy since expanding its educational efforts in 1995 to include courses outside the United States. Courses such as this have been developed through cooperative efforts with orthopaedic societies in the host country, and have proved to be a popular means to promote international exchange of orthopaedic knowledge. The Academy is continually searching for alternative educational delivery systems to reach a maximum number of geographical locations with reduced travel expense and demands on faculty time.

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