Interview with Mike Miranda - AOTrauma Community Development Commission Chairperson

01. March 2016

Mike Miranda shares his vision and goals as Chairperson of the AOTrauma Community Development Commission

Mike Miranda started in his role as Chairperson of the AOTrauma Community Development Commission last year. During the Davos Courses in December 2015 we had the opportunity to ask him for his vision for AOTrauma

​Mike, what were your first experiences with AOTrauma?

I was a resident and the program I was in had no formal trauma training. So, I went down to my first AOTrauma course, which was in Marco Island, Florida, in 1991. My first impression was, I loved this! The collegiality was very attractive, the cases were great, it was a fun atmosphere, and I thought: "This is really what I want to do." And then, two years later, I went back and took the Advanced Principles Course, which cemented my interest.

I later was an AO Fellow in Chur, Switzerland, with Professor Ruedi in 1995. Over the next two years I participated in a number of courses, so I wrote to Professor Jim Kellam (AO Foundation Past President), telling him I was keenly interested in getting involved with AOTrauma. Jim replied, and told me that I had “achieved all my merit badges” and that he would soon be in contact. I then got invited to teach at courses, and it went on from there. Jim Geary was also instrumental in helping me get involved in courses.

What made you join AOTrauma?

I became involved with AOTrauma because I wanted to be a better surgeon. I also wanted the support of a community of peers, like those at the AO. In addition, at the AO, I found a large group of mentors who were receptive to questions and interested in having surgeons visit them. They all completely understood my desire and need to become technically better. These mentors, like Jeff Mast and Christian Krettek, were open to share their knowledge and expertise, and so generous with the time they gave me. They literally opened their homes to me. It was very humbling.

What do you think is the strength of AOTrauma?

The strength of AOTrauma comes from the fact that the community is focused not only on patient care, but also on self-improvement, volunteerism, and a desire for excellence.

Can you outline your development within AOTrauma from being an AO Fellow to your current role?

I was a fellow in 1995. I was a faculty at a number of courses from 1997 until I became a trustee in 2006. I was also involved in various committees such as the AO Research Fund, The North American Trauma Education Committee (NAMTEC), as well as the AOTK Minimally Invasive Expert Group. I went on to become the AOTrauma North America Community Development Chairperson, and now I hold the International AOTrauma Community Development Commission Chairperson role.

What are your visions and goals for AOTrauma Community Development?

My vision is to improve communication throughout AOTrauma and the greater community at large. I think it is important that we create a simple, clear message about who we are, what we have accomplished, and what we aim to achieve in the future. In the next year, this message will be defined and distributed internally, to our members, industry, and to the public.

How would you describe AOTrauma in a sentence?

AOTrauma is a community of like-minded surgeons who are interested in taking better care of their patients and improving their skills as surgeons.

What message would you like to share with current and future members?

From the organization perspective, we are working to increase the number of opportunities for involvement for motivated and interested surgeons, so that they can move up through the organization. On a more personal level, one thing I learned from Jack Wilber (Chairperson of the AOTrauma International Board) is that you should give back. If someone teaches you, then you should take the time to teach someone else. I believe passionately in "paying it forward." I’ve been given so much by my mentors, we all have, and therefore I would like to give back.

Thank you very much, Mike!



Icon Mike Miranda (second from left) at the Davos Courses 2014
Icon At the Trustees Meeting 2015 in Chang Mai, Thailand
Icon At the Trustees Meeting 2015 in Chang Mai, Thailand