AO Davos Courses: Why are they so special?

Wa'el Taha shares his insights into the AO Davos Courses and what they mean for the AO Trauma community

19 March 2019

Wa'el Taha
Wa'el Taha at the AO Trauma World Meeting 2018 in Madrid, Spain
Wa'el Taha, AO Trauma Education Commission Chairperson, talks about the AO's flagship educational event, the AO Davos Courses, exploring what makes this event unique.

What do the AO Davos Courses mean to AO Trauma?

The AO Davos Courses is the one stand-out event that all orthopedic surgeons want to participate in at least once in their lives. It gives them a unique opportunity to get a sense of the AO's hometown and really experience the AO spirit. It has always been a key event for AO Trauma. 

AO Trauma is committed to the AO Davos Courses and consistently looks to improve the experience it offers participants. Preserving this feeling by ensuring the AO Davos Courses remain the gold-standard educational event certainly remains a major goal for AO Trauma. 

How did the AO Davos Courses become what they are?

Ever since AO Trauma was created as a clinical division of the AO Foundation ten years ago we have prioritized our commitment to the ongoing development of the AO Davos Courses. 

The development of high-quality education was one of the key priorities set by Steven Schelkun, and I was lucky enough to be with him at the first AOTEC meeting that outlined this approach. His idea was to create task forces that would make it possible to design more effective curricula for surgeons. These curricula would be tested during the year in local courses, usually with the final rehearsal in Dubai, and then launched at the AO Davos Courses. 

The main goal has always been to develop the best format and content to serve the AO Davos Courses and to ensure participants have the best possible educational experience. This is what we still do today—strive to make the AO Davos Courses the best.

How do we achieve this?

The AO Davos Courses' reputation is built on word-of-mouth recommendations. Over 80 percent of our participants say they would recommend it to others. Our participants are our ambassadors, and this is the result of, and testament to, the high-quality education we provide. 

AO Trauma's curricula are based on sound educational theories. We really strive to find and meet the various needs of our surgeons. We challenge ourselves and constantly review the format and theories based on participant and faculty feedback. This is what makes it special. The participants can watch the event change in response to their feedback.

What is the AO Trauma World Meeting? 

AO Trauma's World Meeting is a bold new initiative to add value to the global educational offerings that AO Trauma has for its community. AO Trauma is constantly reviewing how it responds to feedback from AO Trauma surgeons and operating room personnel who attend its events.

At AO Trauma, we know that we need to focus on developing our community, enhancing our membership benefits, and expanding the potential entry points that we offer – thus bringing more people into our network.

How does the AO Trauma World Meeting (AOTWM) complement the other offerings of AO Trauma? 

AO Trauma is constantly responding to feedback from course participants and is dedicated to making sure all the courses it offers, globally, in Davos, and at the AO Trauma World Meeting, are mutually complementary and provide our surgeons with ever-more opportunities to hone their skills.

While many of our offerings are for example courses, that look at larger areas of the body, the AO Trauma World Meeting is designed to respond to a very specific need voiced by our community for courses that focus in on particular anatomical areas.

What does AO Trauma hope to achieve by developing the AO Trauma World Meeting?

The idea behind the AO Trauma World Meeting (AOTWM) is to create additional value for the AO Trauma community, through developing a new format for course-based learning, that will, hopefully appeal to particular types or groups of health care professional. We are passionate about the AO and want to do whatever we can to get the AO Trauma message to an even greater group.

We have already held one AOTWM pilot event. There was a lot of interest in it, and it is clear that we have further work to do in building momentum behind it – any new endeavor takes time to put down roots in the community. 

We are excited to say that the second pilot AOTWM event will take place in April 2019

If it is successful we will launch it officially as a major annual event for the AO Trauma community, in 2020. We look forward to it adding value to AO Trauma's broader education portfolio.

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