SCCOT leadership and staff members met with CEO Karen Hackett during their visit to the Academy. (From left) Ana Tibavija; Rodrigo Lopez, MD; Ms. Hackett; Nicolas Restrepo, MD; Ruben Matteus, MD; Adrian Hernandez; and Gabriel Alonso.


Published 1/1/2009
Jennie McKee

SCCOT sees AAOS as global model

Colombians learn how Academy works during 3-day visit

Rodrigo Lopez, MD, president of the Sociedad Colombiana de Cirugía Ortopédica y Traumatología (SCCOT), knows the value of a good role model. That’s one reason why Dr. Lopez and other officers and staff of the Colombian orthopaedic association visited the AAOS for 3 days last September to learn more about the Academy. The Colombians plan to use their new understanding of the Academy’s processes in implementing their goal of making SCCOT the leading orthopaedic association in their region by 2011.

Learning about the AAOS
The visit was coordinated by the Academy’s international department and included both a tour and meetings with staff. According to Dr. Lopez, interacting with representatives from marketing, public relations, information systems, customer service, conventions and meeting services, and other departments gave the group insight into how SCCOT can expand its influence.

“We gained some very good ideas about how to communicate with the public to make an impact,” said Dr. Lopez, who found the Academy’s database system for maintaining member records to be very impressive.

He was also struck by the independent operations that staff members conduct on a daily basis.

“It’s very impressive that the Academy doesn’t need to have its board of directors physically present all the time; it’s an institution by itself,” he said. “We could see that the staff is very committed to the mission and goals of the AAOS.”

Similarities abound
Although the AAOS and SCCOT differ in many ways, the organizations also have much in common. Both publish scientific journals, maintain robust Web sites, and hold annual meetings. In the past, SCCOT’s annual meeting has attracted approximately 2,000 attendees, including 900 to 1,100 orthopaedic surgeons. Learn­ing more about the Academy’s planning processes will aid the Columbians in putting together our next meeting in April 2009.

“Everyone wants to have an event like the AAOS Annual Meeting,” said Dr. Lopez.

A tour of the Orthopaedic Learning Center (OLC) allowed the Colombians to compare the facilities to their own Latin American Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, which has four surgical skills rooms, two meeting rooms, and a separate area for storing anatomic components.

“We can apply almost every single thing we learned during our visit to the Academy,” said

Dr. Lopez. “It’s not only a matter of having the economic resources; it’s a matter of changing attitudes and paradigms. We are grateful and honored to have been invited to the AAOS.”

To learn more about SCCOT, visit its Spanish-language Web site at

Jennie McKee is a staff writer for AAOS Now.

2009 AAOS/SCCOT international education
The Academy plans to continue its collaborative relationship with SCCOT by holding a joint international education program with the organization in 2009.

The program, which is scheduled for April 29 – May 2, 2009 in Cartagena, Colombia, will build upon the success of a previous joint meeting held in 2007. The meeting will feature faculty members from both SCCOT and the AAOS, including Course Director Guido Marra, MD; Keith Berend, MD; Bruce Sangeorzan, MD; Rafael Sierra, MD; and Xavier A. Duralde, MD. Sessions, which will feature English-Spanish and Spanish-English translations, will focus on trends, overuse, trauma, and reconstruction as they relate to shoulder and elbow, hip and knee, and foot and ankle. Continuing medical education credits will be available to participants.

To learn more about the 2009 AAOS Colombian education program or to register, contact Lisa Cohen, manager, international education programs, at or (847) 384-4168.