The "Making of" the AOTrauma Masters Course—Tips from the Masters—Difficult Cases through the Eyes of Master Surgeons

05. September 2017

Rick Buckley discusses the needs of AOTrauma master’s level course participants and what makes the Tips from the Masters course so successful.

Rick Buckley at the AO Davos Courses 2015
Rick Buckley: "Me and my foot"

In this interview, Rick Buckley, one of the main initiators of the AOTrauma Masters Course—Tips from the Masters, shares more about this successful course format. Buckley has chaired the Tips from the Masters course from its inception until the beginning of last year.

How did the initial idea for this course come about?

The AOTrauma Masters Courses with experienced mentors receive excellent evaluations, and there has been a real push for more learning opportunities at this level. With this, The Global Assessment of Learning Needs for the Masters Level initiative determined that these learners wanted short, intense, expert-led, specific courses that go very deep into a narrow topic, and are based around cases. They also want a course that is led by worldwide experts in a specific field, which is also held in an intimate learning setting. Taking all of this information into consideration, I met with Kodi Kojima, Michael Redies, and Wa'el Taha, so that we could work through new topics and ideas, and the Tips from the Masters course idea came out of our work together.

How is this course structured?

The Tips from the Masters course consists of twelve experts, who are each given two hours to "live out” a specific case with course participants. What is key to this entire course is that the participants also plan each case on their own, as they would normally do in their daily practice. The participants’ preoperative planning "deficits" become obvious when the experts reveal how they would plan at a higher level and solve the problem the patient had.

A perfect plan

How does this case-based learning approach help master surgeons?

We view master’s level surgeons as colleagues and respect their level of knowledge. To support them, each of the two hour sessions are filled with "best evidence" in the form of randomized controlled trials and cohort studies, which are used by the experts as justification for doing the cases in the way that they did. This evidence is shared with the participants, so that they can leave the course with everything they require as experts to treat a specific fracture including literature, and the preoperative planning experience.

Why do you think this course has been so successful?

This course receives very good evaluations, and has been a success from the very beginning because we provide what the Global assessment showed us these learners want: an intimate learning environment, and the ability to see how world-famous surgeons solve a number of very difficult cases. For many years, evaluations at the Davos Courses have shown that the lectures are the lowest rated, while the discussion groups are rated the highest, along with the hands-on workshops. This course format is highly interactive, and remains so three years after its inception. It is actually the most interactive course I have seen at the Davos Courses.

What do you enjoy most about this course?

This course engages master’s level learners from all over the world, to work on tough cases together to improve patient care, and it works!



Icon Tips from the Masters in Davos 2016