Editor’s note: The following content was published in the AAOS Now Special Edition and distributed in June 2020. The content was originally scheduled for the AAOS Now Daily Edition, which publishes each year onsite at the AAOS Annual Meeting but this year’s meeting in March was canceled due to COVID-19. Despite the cancellation, members can access virtual content from the Annual Meeting by visiting the Academy’s Annual Meeting Virtual Experience webpage.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the AAOS 2020 Annual Meeting. Normally, AAOS Now publishes an onsite Daily Edition each day of the meeting, covering the various Instructional Courses, research findings, symposia, and programmed events occurring at the meeting. As AAOS has converted much of the Annual Meeting into a virtual event, we have created this Special Edition solely covering the meeting, focusing on the reporting that would have appeared in the onsite publication. Our goal for this Special Edition is to keep members informed of orthopaedic advances, study findings, and other Annual Meeting content.
In this Special Edition, you will find summary articles of selected papers and posters—which may prompt you to head to the Virtual Education, Events & Exhibits webpage, where you can view author slide presentations of the nearly 900 posters and more than 500 papers that were accepted and slated for the Annual Meeting.
Also in this edition, you will find coverage of the recipients of the Kappa Delta and Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation awards for outstanding research achievements, as well as of the award recipients for leadership and accomplishments in diversity and humanitarian work. Here too is coverage of speeches from President Joseph A. Bosco III, MD, FAAOS; 2019–2020 President Kristy L. Weber, MD, FAAOS; and First Vice President Daniel K. Guy, MD, FAAOS.
The move to virtual
Shelter-in-place and social distancing requirements preclude traditional learning opportunities. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend had been toward offering more learning opportunities online. Now, there is certainly a rapid uptick of electronic learning and new approaches to disseminating information.
Andrew Schwartz, MD, a fourth-year resident at Emory University and an AAOS Now Editorial Board member, shared his personal insights on the changing learning environment for surgeons in training. He described how his institution has moved to daily virtual conferencing: All of the faculty-guided virtual conferences provide brief lecture material, in-training questions, and cases. Residents are being called upon to review decision-making, which has led to more engagement, particularly since traditional pecking orders and hierarchies have eroded (with no seating arrangements in virtual rooms).
Another benefit he described is that high-quality lectures given by giants in the field are being offered by specialty societies (e.g., American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Association for Hand Surgery). These new didactic formats are well-attended and certainly reach greater audiences across the country. Many of the presentations let participants actively engage, with moderated Q&A systems. “It’s pretty special to get daily teachings from the people who wrote the seminal paper, rather than people who read the seminal paper,” said Dr. Schwartz, pointing to an advantage of content provided online. In some circumstances, debates between opposing thinkers or collaborative teaching efforts further enrich this format.
With the Annual Meeting having been preempted, the Academy also converted much of the planned learning to a virtual format. In addition to the ePapers and ePosters, the 1,000+ hours of instruction in the Orthopaedic Video Theater (OVT) and the 2020 Virtual Exhibit Hall are available to you online, as well as the AAOS Annual Meeting On Demand product, your ticket to a large collection of Instructional Course Lectures, which, like the OVT, provide continuing medical education credits.
As we move toward nontraditional teaching and learning, we may find unexpected benefits that we can capitalize on in the post-pandemic era. Share your unique learning and teaching approaches with us so we can disseminate this information to the membership.
Eeric Truumees, MD, FAAOS, is the chair of the AAOS Now Editorial Board; editor-in-chief of AAOS Now; and an orthopaedic spine surgeon in Austin, Texas, where he is also professor of orthopaedics at the Dell Medical School, University of Texas. Dr. Truumees can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Balch Samora, MD, PhD, MPH, FAAOS, is a pediatric hand surgeon at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where she serves as associate medical director of quality for the hospital. She is the deputy editor of AAOS Now. Dr. Samora can be reached at email@example.com.