The countryside surrounding Antalya, Turkey.


Published 8/1/2010
Maureen Leahy; Kim Stafford

AAOS/TSOT program a success, despite ash cloud

Collaborative program promotes shared learning

In April, the second international education program between the AAOS and the Turkish Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (TSOT) took place in Antalya, Turkey. Despite the volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, which severely hampered European air travel, the meeting drew 1,100 attendees, including 750 orthopaedic surgeons.

Directed by Andrew N. Pollak, MD, the AAOS scientific program was part of a 3-day meeting of the combined orthopaedic subspecialty associations of TSOT. Dr. Pollak and Craig J. Della Valle, MD, organized scientific presentations and symposia, gave lectures, and participated in case discussion sessions on arthroplasty and trauma. Kaye E. Wilkins, MD, was scheduled to present on pediatric orthopaedic care, but flight cancellations due to the volcanic ash cloud prevented him from attending. Dr. Wilkins will address Turkish physicians at a later date.

Program content makes the grade
Feedback from program attendees was very positive. Nearly all commented that the AAOS scientific content was relevant to their practices and provided them with valuable knowledge that would benefit their patients.

AAOS faculty feedback was equally positive. Drs. Pollak and Della Valle were impressed with the host nation faculty’s high quality lectures, the strong session attendance, and the excellent audience participation.

“The program was extremely well organized and was a wonderful opportunity for combined professional and social interaction,” Dr. Pollak said. “The location and venue were outstanding.”

“It was interesting to see that hip and knee specialists in Turkey struggle with the same difficult problems that we do,” added Dr. Della Valle. “I think that we were able to share with them some of our strategies, particularly diagnostic strategies, that they felt would be helpful in their practices, and I learned from their novel approaches to tough clinical problems.”

The travel disruptions caused by the Icelandic eruption had an unexpected side effect. At future international education venues, AAOS now has specific back-up plans to transition onsite lectures to a Webinar format. That way, surgeons in the host country, as well as those in surrounding nations, will be able to benefit from the educational program even if travel is restricted.

Want to find out more?
This collaborative program was one of the six international education programs that the AAOS is conducting in 2010. Future issues of AAOS Now will feature more about the Turkish orthopaedic community.

Maureen Leahy is assistant managing editor of AAOS Now. She can be reached at

Kim Stafford, international education programs coordinator, can be reached at