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Dr. Adetiloye teaching surgeons and nurses at the Gwarinpa General Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria

AAOS Now

Published 6/1/2015
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Anna Gurevich

AAOS International Scholars Program Advances Orthopaedic Care Worldwide

Since its inception in 2002, the AAOS International Scholars Program has enabled more than 100 orthopaedic surgeons from countries with limited resources to receive the critical surgical training they can’t get at home. Scholarship recipients attend hands-on surgical skills cadaveric courses of their choice taught by leading orthopaedic surgeons at the Orthopaedic Learning Center (OLC) in Rosemont, Ill. They also take part in observerships at U.S. hospitals and orthopaedic centers under the mentorship of AAOS member volunteers.

Success stories
The AAOS International Scholars Program serves as a launch pad for young international orthopaedists looking to advance their professional careers and to improve orthopaedic patient care in their home countries. For example, in 2012, scholarship recipient Adeoye James Adetiloye, MD, FWACS, attended the “AAOS/AAHKS Partial, Total, and Revision Knee Replacement” surgical skills course at the OLC and participated in an observership at San Francisco General Hospital.

Upon his return to Nigeria, he became a resource person for the Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Orthopaedic Association and was appointed Secretary of the Continuous Medical Education Committee of the Medical and Dental Association chapter. Dr. Adetiloye’s report to the Abuja Federal Capital Territory on the impact of his scholarship visit inspired positive changes at Gwarinpa General Hospital, his local hospital in Abuja. The hospital will soon be recognized as the Center of Excellence in Orthopaedics.

Like most orthopaedic surgeons around the world, AAOS International Scholars Program alumni are lifelong learners. For many alumni, the surgical skills scholarship experience is not enough; they need—and want—much more. In 2013, the AAOS responded by launching an advanced professional development program known as the International Emerging Leaders (IEL) Scholarship. IEL scholars design their scholarship visit program themselves based on their education needs and professional goals. The competitive second-stage IEL program is offered exclusively to AAOS International Scholars Program alumni.

AAOS encourages IEL scholars to broaden their experience by including organizational, managerial, teaching, research, and leadership training in their program. Dr. Adetiloye, a recipient of a 2014 IEL scholarship, took this advice to heart. His 3-week scholarship visit program included the International Pediatric Orthopaedic Symposium offered by AAOS and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America and observerships at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Kaiser Oakland Medical Center with Freddie H. Fu, MD, and Stefano A. Bini, MD, respectively.

Dr. Adetiloye also learned about the U.S. healthcare system, hospital administration and protocols, resident training programs, operating room teamwork, and research opportunities at the two hospitals. In his post-program evaluation, Dr. Adetiloye wrote, “Now I’m reloaded to impact positively on my orthopaedic patient care, practice, and career.”

Dr. Adetiloye teaching surgeons and nurses at the Gwarinpa General Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria
During his IEL observership at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Dr. Adetiloye (left) met with MaCalus Hogan, MD, associate residency program director.
2015 International Scholarship Alumni Meeting in Las Vegas

Similarly, the IEL goal of Biruk L.Wamisho, MD, from Ethiopia, was to obtain training on resource mobilization, management, and efficient use of resources, as well as private and public partnerships. He has since organized his colleagues to launch a new national arthroscopy program in Ethiopia. He is also now an advisor to the Ethiopian Minster of Health on medical ethics and malpractice issues, chair of the Professional Medical Council, and president of the Ethiopian Society of Orthopaedics and Traumatology.

The post-program professional development of AAOS international scholars is truly amazing and inspiring. Six of the alumni are now presidents of their national or specialty orthopaedic associations; one was appointed a Health Minister of his country. Many alumni have become heads of the orthopaedic departments or services at their hospitals, and others organize conferences and symposia and teach students and peers.

Recognizing the role that the AAOS International Scholars Program played in these achievements, alumni are very thankful for the opportunity. “I would like to reassure the AAOS that this scholarship has been a success and that it is money well spent!” Tewodros Zerfu, MD, 2014 alumnus, said.

Future of the program needs your support
Cultivating and nurturing orthopaedic surgeons to become global leaders through the AAOS International Scholars Program’s two levels of professional development takes time and long-term planning; the length of the full scholarship cycle is at least 3 years. As a result, the International Scholarship Fund that supports the International Scholars Program needs to be robust, sustainable, and allow for long-term strategy and planning.

The AAOS International Scholars Program fosters lifelong professional relationships, strategic partnerships, and exciting collaborative projects. AAOS fully and generously supports indirect expenses related to the program. Contributions to the scholarship fund are an investment in the future of outstanding, hand-picked orthopaedic surgeons and global orthopaedic patient care. For more information about how you can support the AAOS International Scholars Program or become a mentor, email international@aaos.org or call 847-384-4170. For details of the program, visit aaos.org/international

Anna Gurevich is coordinator, international outreach and scholarships, in the AAOS education department. She can be reached at gurevich@aaos.org

Thanks for your support!
Contributors to the AAOS International Scholarship Fund:

  • Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine
  • Richard E. Gayle, MD
  • Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Indonesian Orthopaedic Association
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  • New England Baptist Hospital
  • Newton-Wellesley Hospital Charitable Foundation
  • The Orthopaedic Foundation
  • Sociedad Chilena de Ortopedia y Traumatolgia
  • Société Internationale de Chirurgie Orthopédique et de Traumatologie (USA)
  • Stanford Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Stetson Powell Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • The Permanente Medical Group
  • Mentors and observership hosts:
  • Hany S. Bedair, MD, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton, Mass.
  • Stefano A. Bini, MD, Kaiser Oakland Orthopaedic Surgery, Oakland, Calif.
  • John C. Clohisy, MD, Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis
  • Craig J. Della Valle, MD, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
  • Freddie H. Fu, MD, Pittsburgh University Medical Center, Pittsburgh
  • Richard E. Gayle, MD, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Mountain View, Calif.
  • Eric Giza, MD, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, Calif.
  • Scott A. Hoffinger, MD, Stanford Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Joshua E. Hyman, MD, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City
  • William J. Maloney, MD, and John G. Costouros, MD, Stanford University Orthopaedic Surgery, Redwood City, Calif.
  • David A. Mattingly, MD, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston
  • Peter J. Millett, MD, MSc, Vail Valley Medical Center, Vail, Colo.
  • Scott J. Mubarak, MD, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego
  • Kevin D. Plancher, MD, MS, Orthopaedic Foundation, New York City
  • Harry Rubash, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • Charles L. Saltzman, MD, and David Rothberg, MD, University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City
  • Bruce J. Sangeorzan, MD, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle
  • Naomi N. Shields, MD, Kansas Surgery and Recovery Center, Wichita, Kan.
  • Ernest L. Sink, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City
  • William Stetson, MD, and Scott E. Powell, MD, Stetson-Powell Sports Medicine, Burbank, Calif.
  • Vineeta T. Swaroop, MD, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago
  • Howard J. Sweeney, MD, Global Orthopaedic Foundation, Evanston, Ill.