AAOS Bulletin - October, 2006

Thailand selected as 2007 Guest Nation

By Dallas Tomlin

In 2005, in the spirit of international cooperation, the AAOS instituted a Guest Nation Program as part of the AAOS Annual Meeting, with the goal of recognizing the contributions and achievements of the global orthopaedic community.

The AAOS International Committee is pleased to announce that Thailand will be honored as the Guest Nation for the 2007 AAOS Annual Meeting. As the Guest Nation, Thailand will be recognized during the opening ceremonies, at the Guest Nation booth and at a private reception. In accepting the honor, the President of the Thai Orthopaedic Association (TOA) and Royal College of Orthopaedic Surgeons of Thailand (RCOST), Suthorn Bavonratanavech, MD, wrote that members of his organization were “absolutely delighted…to be a nominated Guest Nation.”

About Thailand
Thailand, a nation of more than 64 million people, can trace the origins of its modern medical establishment to the United States. In 1928, Prince Mahidol of Songla, considered by many to be Thailand’s father of modern medicine, received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Recognizing a need to improve his country’s medical care, the prince negotiated an agreement with the Rockefeller Foundation to assist in creating a scholarship program that allowed Thai men and women to be educated in England and then return to their homeland.

Today, Thailand has more than 18,000 physicians, including 1,400 orthopaedic surgeons. The nation’s modern hospital system has a growing number of facilities that have received accreditation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and the U.S. Consular data sheet has awarded hospitals in Bangkok an “excellent” rating.

Long-standing cooperation
For the past six years, AAOS has had a cooperative education programming partnership with the TOA, the RCOST, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Orthopaedic Association. Together, these groups have provided top-quality physician education programs for ASEAN-region orthopaedic surgeons and residents, with programs held every two years in either Bangkok or Pattaya, Thailand.

The most recent program took place in October 2006, in Pattaya. During this Hip and Knee Arthroplasty and Cartilage Repair program, Dr. Stuart Weinstein, AAOS Immediate Past President, was recognized as Guest of Honor and also was inducted as an honorary member of the Thai Orthopaedic Association.

AAOS had an exhibit booth at the congress, where it showcased the Academy’s Guest Nation program, international affiliate membership and Annual Meeting. AAOS print and electronic media products were also on display.

In an effort to develop patient education materials for Thai-speaking patients worldwide, AAOS has collaborated with TOA and RCOST to translate select education materials from the AAOS patient education Web site, Your Orthopaedic Connection (YOC) into Thai. Currently, five articles are available, with plans for more next year. You can find the articles at orthoinfo.aaos.org by clicking on “Other Languages” on the YOC home page.

Please stop by the Guest Nation booth at the AAOS Annual Meeting in San Diego and extend your personal welcome to our Thai colleagues.

Dallas Tomlin is the manager for international rights and distribution in the AAOS international department. She can be contacted at tomlin@aaos.org.

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