Andrew H. Schmidt, MD, FAAOS


Published 3/11/2024
Robert M. Orfaly, MD, MBA, FAAOS

Education Council Chair Andrew H. Schmidt, MD, Discusses Updates in AAOS Educational Programming

AAOS Now Editor-in-Chief Robert M. Orfaly, MD, MBA, FAAOS, sat down with Andrew H. Schmidt, MD, FAAOS, Education Council chair, to discuss innovations in education available to AAOS members.

Dr. Orfaly: Andy, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us and talk to the members about what is new in education. Education obviously is one of the main pillars of AAOS, something that everyone thinks about when they think about the Academy. We look forward to hearing some of the new innovations and products the members can expect over the next few months and beyond.

Dr. Schmidt: Thanks, Robert! As you know, the Education Council of the Academy oversees all of the Academy’s educational efforts; obviously this includes the Annual Meeting and other live courses, as well as the Academy’s journals, books, other CME events, webinars—just an incredible width and breadth of educational content.

What I wanted to focus on today are two things that I’m most excited about for Academy members to know. First is the Resident Orthopaedic Core Knowledge, or ROCK. That’s the resident curriculum that has been recently completed. I also want to talk about our new Learning Innovation Lab, which is a great opportunity for Academy members to submit ideas and participate in the development of new, innovative Education Council projects.

Dr. Orfaly: Regardless of who you are and what kind of practice you have, it’s always good to know what the new innovations are in teaching residents about orthopaedic surgery. Let’s go over ROCK and what can be expected.

Dr. Schmidt: ROCK is a best-in-class, comprehensive knowledge curriculum that was written from the ground up with the intention of it being a complete online resource. It is not just a textbook that was repurposed into a PDF version with a couple of video links. ROCK was designed and is written to be viewed online, so one can review a given topic in whatever detail is needed at the moment. For example, let’s say you’re a resident and you’re consulted by the medicine department or the emergency room to see a patient with something that you want to learn more about, but you only have 5 minutes of time. You can go to the appropriate section of ROCK and read a brief, high-level review of the topic. If you have more time, for example you’re preparing for an elective case or preparing for a talk or an exam or simply studying, you can [review] in much deeper detail.

ROCK links to the entirety of the Academy’s educational content, including videos from the Orthopaedic Video Theater, symposia, and presentations at prior Annual Meetings. Thanks to our partnership with Wolters Kluwer, there’s access to textbooks and other things that the Academy has published. It is everything in one place, and there’s nothing like it.

Dr. Orfaly: It absolutely sounds expansive and like an amazing resource for residents. Another thing that I actually am just learning about is the Learning Innovation Lab. As you said, I think a lot of people have never heard of this. What can they expect from this program?

Dr. Schmidt: The Learning Innovation Lab is an idea incubator rather than a “thing” that you can go to. It consists of much of the team that developed ROCK. This group developed significant capabilities during that process. We want to engage Academy members in creating innovative methods to deliver educational content. The idea of the Learning Innovation Lab is that we have experienced Academy staff and we want to support Academy members in realizing their fantastic ideas. It works like this: An Academy member or Academy staff member who has an idea for a new form of education or new type of educational content, whether that’s something at the Annual Meeting, a course, or something that can be offered online, submits that idea to the Learning Innovation Lab.

AAOS staff will then take that idea and evaluate it. Those ideas that are viewed as having potential are further reviewed, perhaps modified as needed, and eventually some of the projects will turn from a concept into something that is real. In the program’s first year, nearly 100 ideas were evaluated, and two were realized at our Annual Meeting in Las Vegas: ICL 360 and Diagnosis Spotlight.

Dr. Orfaly: Thank you so much for all your hard work as chair of the Education Council and supporting both AAOS and our profession and ultimately all of our patients. We really appreciate all the efforts you’ve made.

Dr. Schmidt: It’s been my pleasure and honor; as you know, it’s the Academy team and other people who really do the work, and we have incredibly talented individuals putting all this together.

Robert M. Orfaly, MD, MBA, FAAOS, is a professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Oregon Health and Science University. He is also the editor-in-chief of AAOS Now and chair of the AAOS Now Editorial Board.