Twelve to 16 months-that's how long it takes to produce an Academy continuing medical education course from start to finish. It might seem like a lot of time to spend on one course, but to the people involved, taking the extra time to get it "right" makes an Academy course unique.
To understand what goes into the development of an Academy continuing medical education course, the Bulletin examined the development of "Current Issues and Controversies in Hip and Knee Arthroplasty"-a continuing medical education course scheduled for January 9-12, 1997 in Phoenix, Ariz.
"Current Issues and Controversies in Hip and Knee Arthroplasty" will be one of more than 30 continuing medical education courses offered by the Academy in 1997. Most recently, the course was offered in April 1996, generating a lot of positive response from its participants.
This year, however, course chairmen Richard F. Kyle, MD, and Donald T. Reilly, MD, wanted to include elements to the curriculum that were not offered in the 1996 course. They decided that the course and its faculty should be even more "flexible" than in past courses.
"This year, our goal is to produce a course where registrants can tell us what they want to learn, and in turn we will tailor the course to meet their needs and interests," said Dr. Kyle.
"From the early planning stages, we knew that we wanted to develop a concept that would make the course different," said Dr. Reilly. "So we decided to offer registrants the opportunity to 'customize' the course and make it adaptable to their own learning style."
To achieve this goal, the course registration form will include an area where participants can indicate a few topics they would like covered by the faculty. The questionnaires are to be filled out by the participants prior to attending the course. "From the questionnaires, we will be able to determine what registrants want to learn and their expectations of the course," said Dr. Reilly.
When choosing the faculty for the course, Drs. Kyle and Reilly selected orthopaedic surgeons who could adapt to this unique teaching style. "We have a terrific faculty who are willing to tailor their presentations to meet participant demand," said Dr. Kyle.
Experts on faculty
Some of the country's leading experts in hip and knee arthroplasty will serve on the faculty. Clement B. Sledge, MD, will provide an opening day keynote address on "Biomechanical vs. Biological Etiology of Osteoarthritis." Other faculty members include John J. Callaghan, MD; Dennis K. Collis, MD; Lawrence D. Dorr, MD; Clive P. Duncan, MD; Charles A. Engh, MD; Raymond Gustilo, MD; Murali Jasty, MD; Joseph C. McCarthy, MD; Aaron G. Rosenberg, MD; Thomas P. Sculco, MD; Thomas S. Thornhill, MD; Richard E. White, MD; Timothy M. Wright, PhD; Nicholas Cavarocchi, director of the Academy's Washington, D.C. office; and Fred Kolb, consultant.
Drs. Kyle and Reilly also believe offering different teaching modalities would enhance the course. So, case consultation sessions will be held every day to encourage interaction between faculty and attendees. Panel discussions have been scheduled on controversial topics ranging from cement versus cementless arthroplasty to instability and dislocation.
Videotape footage of surgical techniques also will be shown throughout various portions of the course. Once the videotape is shown, faculty members will provide commentary on the surgical procedure performed, and will encourage audience discussion through question and answer periods. Registrants will be able to view videotapes from the Academy's Orthopaedic Surgery Videotape Library during the evening.
In addition, Drs. Kyle and Reilly decided to offer presentations on socioeconomic issues. They will include a presentation on how to negotiate prices of devices. They also decided to schedule opening day presentations on the future of total joint replacement in the Medicare and HMO environment as well as an update on the Health Care Financing Administration's demonstration project for total hip and total knee replacement procedures.
"We wanted the course to offer information on a variety of topics, not just surgical technique," said Dr. Kyle. "So we decided to include presentations on timely issues that had relevance to the orthopaedic community right now."
When it came to designing the course schedule, Drs. Kyle and Reilly opted to take advantage of the resort setting. They decided that the course will take place in the morning, while the afternoons will be free so that registrants can enjoy the resort atmosphere of The Pointe Hilton at Tapatio Cliffs.
This is the third time that Drs. Kyle and Reilly were selected as chairmen of the course. They believe their experience from previous courses allows them to bring new ideas to the course every year.
"Last year, we learned from the course evaluation forms that participants wanted more question and answer periods," said Dr. Reilly. "So this year, we are adding expanded question and answer sessions after each topic area."
Both physicians agree that planning the course has been hard work, but worth the effort. "Once the course takes places, and you see the interaction between faculty and participants, you know it was worth your time," said Dr. Kyle.
To receive registration information on "Current Issues and Controversies in Hip and Knee Arthroplasty," contact the Academy's customer service department at (800) 626-6726.
Reported by Cynthia Oertel, Academy's department of communications