The August issue of AAOS Now included a great spread on the new Orthopaedic Learning Center (OLC, “New OLC Is Better than Ever”). But the pictures don’t do justice to this digital and modular learning platform for the 21st century, in my humble opinion. As its new name—the OLC Education and Conference Center—indicates, the OLC is moving beyond simply “learning.” With its state-of-the-art Bio-Skills Training Lab—which can be divided to accommodate multiple events simultaneously; video production studio; multipurpose lecture and meeting spaces; and large-format, high-definition displays, the OLC ranks among the world’s best surgical skills education facilities. But it’s also a stand-alone entity, located minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare airport, that can host just about any type of education event, including training seminars, corporate meetings, and live-streaming broadcasts. The AAOS Board of Directors met in the OLC for the first time in June, and it was a great experience.
Kudos to all of those involved in the design and development of the new OLC, including Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD, who chaired our “Building Orthopaedics” campaign steering committee; Felix H. Savoie III, MD, president of the OLC board of directors; and the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), our equity partners in the OLC. Thanks must also go to our industry partners, practice groups, and individual members who supported this educational advancement.
The expenditures on new technology at the OLC and throughout the Academy will generate a tremendous return on investment for education of AAOS members. Already, new types of courses and learning ventures are being developed. One of the most exciting will be the new AAOS website, which makes its debut this fall.
Much has been happening behind the screens of the AAOS website during the past 2 years. Under the direction of the AAOS Board of Directors, our Chief Technology Officer Bill Bruce, staff, and volunteer member teams have taken apart the AAOS website, analyzed it, re-imagined it, and are rebuilding it. You’ll see the results of their efforts when the new AAOS website goes live later this fall.
I guarantee you’ll be impressed—not only with the new look of the website, but also with the unique approach to meeting member needs that the website reflects. Initially, the most obvious change will be the site’s completely updated visual design. It will have a modern look and feel, with an emphasis on visual communication. Also of note is the adoption of a responsive design. No more squinting at a miniscule image on your smartphone. Instead, the website will reconfigure itself to your viewing device—whether that is a desktop or tablet computer or a smartphone.
Sweeping improvements to the site’s navigation and search functionality will make it easier than ever to find exactly what you need. Topic-based landing pages will mean that AAOS members—from residents to emeritus—will readily find information geared to their specialty interest, as will other audiences, such as the public, your patients, and the media.
The website will also include social networking features, and the distinction between orthoportal.org and aaos.org will disappear. All education content—including video—will be at your fingertips. What’s more, new functionality will ensure that the website remembers you, so you won’t have to sign in each time you visit.
Although the new website will be more visually appealing, the focus of the redesign has been functionality, to make the website work better for you. A key feature of the updated site will be the inclusion of engagement features such as “My AAOS,” “My Library,” and targeted content capabilities. These features will offer you valuable information based on your relationship with the AAOS, your past participation history, and your interest or focus areas. I encourage you to visit www.aaos.org and see the changes—and to let us know what you think. Please give it a test drive and send your comments to email@example.com
The AAOS last met in Orlando, Fla., back at the turn of the century in 2000. Having conducted a site visit to Orlando this February, I was amazed at the changes that had taken place. New hotels near the Orange County Convention Center, new restaurants only a short walk away, new transportation options such as direct flights and easy transit from the airport, new attractions for your family—they’re all there. Growth and development in the Orlando area mean that the convention center is just minutes away from great housing opportunities, after-hour entertainment, and activities for you and your family.
But don’t let me stop there; the best part will be the new educational formats and learning opportunities during the 2016 AAOS Annual Meeting, March 1–5.
Paul Tornetta III, MD, Annual Meeting Committee chair, and his team have put together a great program that’s sure to engage you. Paul and his committee have worked tirelessly with staff from the department of convention and meeting services to ensure that the 2016 AAOS Annual Meeting will have something for everyone—scientific exhibits and poster tours, paper presentations—including “game changers,” live streaming webcasts, symposia, and instructional courses.
This year, technical skills courses will be supplemented with the addition of video “handouts.” Career development courses will help you hone your communication, research, and leadership skills. In addition to an expanded selection of Case Presentation Courses, the AAOS will debut the following three new high-impact sessions:
Showdowns—A debate between colleagues on topics and techniques that demonstrate their points of view; members of the audience will decide the winners.
Flash Five—A 1-hour session filled with fast, focused, 5-minute bursts of knowledge; hot topic experts will drill down to the most critical points and takeaways.
The Way I See It…—The “whys” of what the experts do as they share their candid thoughts and opinions on a range of issues.
The Presidential Guest Speaker will be a personal hero of mine—Roger Staubach. A Heisman trophy award winner, Vietnam veteran, Pro Football Hall of Famer, and Super Bowl MVP, Staubach went on to become a sports commentator and successful business owner of the Staubach Group. Currently the Executive Chairman at JLL (formerly Jones Lang LaSalle), Staubach is more than just talented. He’s a leader who knows how to inspire others, living a life of the five core values of the AAOS: Excellence, Leadership, Professionalism, Collegiality, and Lifelong Learning—and that’s a message that can benefit all of us.
More inspiration can be gleaned from the 2016 Guest Nation, Colombia. The AAOS held its first international education program with the Sociedad Colombiana de Cirugía Ortopédica y Traumatología (SCCOT) in Cartagena, Colombia, back in 2007. Special events and activities planned for the 2016 Annual Meeting include a combined symposium, special poster tours given in Spanish, ten featured posters, and an address by the SCCOT president during the opening ceremonies.
Preliminary program materials are on their way to you, and member registration for the 2016 AAOS Annual Meeting opens Oct. 21, 2015. I hope you’ll be among the first to sign up!
Team Lifelong Learning
Education was a top priority when the AAOS was formed in 1933; it remains a pillar of our activities and attention to enable members to reach and stay on the top of their orthopaedic game. From the rigorous standards of peer-reviewed content to the highest production quality, AAOS video, online, and print materials are your most valuable resource for professional development. Your AAOS Board of Directors is committed to keeping the AAOS focused on meeting your needs from residency to retirement, so that you can deliver the highest quality care to your patients.
Hundreds of volunteers like you support the Council on Education, chaired by Evan L. Flatow, MD, by providing content, instruction, leadership, innovation, and peer review for the emerging educational formats of the future. If you are or have been one of those volunteers, I salute you. If you have not yet had the opportunity to participate, I encourage you to find your strong suit in orthopaedic education and volunteer in the future. We can all learn from each other, and the collegial interactions in all these emerging learning formats enable the learner to become an educator, benefitting all.
So now, here are your homework assignments for the coming months:
- Get registered and ready for the 2016 Annual Meeting in Orlando.
- Make the new AAOS website your homepage and give us feedback.
- Sign up to participate in an OLC learning activity this coming year.
- Renew your commitment to lifelong learning for your patients.
On to Orlando!