In 1963, the Chilean Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology (SCHOT) held its first annual Chilean Congress of Orthopedics and Traumatology, for members to convene and share research and expertise. Today, the congress hosts more than 1,300 attendees annually.
Courtesy of SCHOT


Published 3/8/2024
Mario Orrego, MD; Alvaro Silva, MD

Chilean Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology: 70 Years of Promoting the Specialty in Chile

Editor’s note: This article is part of a series from 2024 Guest Nation representatives from Chile. The articles will be published in each issue of the AAOS Now Daily Edition.

Founded on June 10, 1949, the Chilean Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology (SCHOT) has been an important engine for the development of the orthopaedic specialty in Chile. Throughout its history, SCHOT has been tasked with bringing together traumatologists throughout the country as a nonprofit scientific organization whose main objective is the constant improvement of the field and the rest of the medical community. To further this mission, SCHOT hosts activities such as instructional courses, online medical education courses, conferences, a regional meeting, and its annual congress.

Regional programming
With a population of about 19 million and a length of approximately 4,329 km (2,690 miles), Chile is a country with various ecosystems and landscapes. To the north is the Atacama Desert, the most arid in the world, and Antarctica’s icy beauty lies to the south. To the west stretches the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, and to the east is the Andes Mountain range, which is long and impassable by land for much of the year.

These privileged natural conditions create unique challenges to integration of the orthopaedic specialty across the nation. To accomplish this goal, SCHOT has created regional affiliates throughout the country to promote development by incorporating various care centers into the organization’s regular activities.

Training and certification
In terms of orthopaedic education overall, university training programs in Chile have adapted to accommodate a growing number of orthopaedic surgery trainees. Currently, about 100 orthopaedic surgery residents from different Chilean universities graduate annually. SCHOT accommodates orthopaedic surgery residents into its programming, offering courses to stimulate their entry as active partners in the organization.

SCHOT also receives approximately 200 foreign doctors a year, who must revalidate their degrees and become certified as specialists in Chile. Committed to the quality of the new specialists, SCHOT pioneered the National Medical Examination in Orthopedics and Traumatology, a required exam for certification as a specialist according to the national regulatory framework. Since 2021, SCHOT has worked to advance a CME program to allow surgeons to recertify according to current laws.

As the depth of orthopaedic knowledge has grown to allow the development of areas of subspecialty, SCHOT has worked to create programming to accommodate this trend. Newly created committees include the Societies of Hip, Knee, and Sports Traumatology; Ankle and Foot; Shoulder and Elbow; Hand and Microsurgery; Spine; Children’s Orthopaedics; Bone Reconstruction and Elongation; and Orthopaedic Oncology, as well as the creation of a research committee. These groups and regional affiliates, under SCHOT’s supervision, carry out more than 70 national academic activities for members each year, as well as international exchanges.

SCHOT is always modernizing. Recently, an advocacy committee was created to help solve orthopaedic problems for the most disadvantaged and isolated communities in Chile.

Annual congress
Chile has more than 2,000 certified specialists in orthopaedics and traumatology, more than 1,200 of whom are active SCHOT partners. Most participate in the annual Chilean Congress of Orthopedics and Traumatology, which garners more than 1,300 attendees. The congress is characterized by the impeccable design of its scientific program, featuring 30 to 40 international guests from different subspecialties. It is regarded as a very relevant academic meeting at national and international levels. SCHOT’s planning capacity also has resulted in the organization of international congresses.

SCHOT is immensely proud and thankful to be a partner of AAOS for 10 years and hopes this relationship can be a bridge for Spanish speakers who want to share SCHOT’s particular expertise with AAOS members to advance collaborative research.

Mario Orrego, MD, is a past president of SCHOT.

Alvaro Silva, MD, is the current president of SCHOT.