06. December 2016

The AO Foundation launches a new web platform to support AO surgeons in their research efforts.

Prof Stephen Kates introduces AOPEER to participants at the Davos Courses 2016

At the Davos Courses 2016 the AO Foundation launched a web-based platform that provides diverse resources for surgeons interested in, or already conducting, high quality research in their chosen field. Designed for mobile, tablet and PC use, the Program for Education and Excellence in Research (AOPEER) is a curated database of reference documents, pertinent articles, grant application templates, checklists, eLearning modules, webinars, and much more. It is focused on the standards and procedures that inform the core of clinical research.

AOPEER aims to empower AO members from all clinical divisions to fill knowledge gaps and gain confidence in their desire to contribute to evidence-based medicine. Whether a surgeon is already engaged in clinical research, starting to apply their new-found knowledge, or just curious about what is needed to get started in the research sphere, AOPEER is there to provide support.

Drawing on a wealth of expertise

AOPEER profits from the wealth of expertise available within the AO Foundation—through the commitment to best practices, excellence in education and research, and exemplary standards of care. Trusted resources have been developed to support AOPEER's objectives by the AO Clinical Divisions with the support of AO Clinical Investigation and Documentation and the AO Education Institute. The cross-pollination of this shared knowledge is a benefit for all AO members who are interested in learning more about clinical research.

Diverse resources to support your inquiries

AOPEER explores a variety of topic areas, such as the fundamentals of research, how to write a grant, statistics, and how to publish, each with a mix of relevant resources, reference documents and learning opportunities. When putting proven educational principles into action, AOPEER has been mindful to include learning opportunities that target the unique needs of practicing surgeons.

Users can choose from intuitive and easily navigated topic menus depending on their specific needs, experience level, and available time. For example, eLearning modules on evidence-based medicine or writing a journal article take between 40 and 60 minutes to complete. Or perhaps, if you are looking for something more hands-on, you will quickly find practical checklists and templates to kick-start your own research project. You can also access information on where the next accredited Good Clinical Practice course is taking place near you and register on the spot.

Whether you have some time to watch a recorded lecture or need to answer a specific query, you can trust that AOPEER delivers access to the tools of research that are essential to the success of your project.

Designed by surgeons for surgeons

Many surgeons receive little to no training in the fundamentals of research. Designing robust projects, writing scientific papers, accessing grant funding, and statistical analysis, are generally not part of a surgeon’s skill set.

The inspiration for this new web platform came from the personal research experiences of some AO clinicians who were keen to contribute to the field of clinical research, like many, they were unsure how to design, conduct, analyze, and eventually publish high-quality research. When they looked around for information they had difficulty finding answers to their questions, and while they successfully completed their projects, they admitted they had learnt a lot of things the hard way.

It was from this void that AOPEER evolved, gathering useful tips, tools, links and educational offerings all in one place to make evaluating an idea and seeing it through to publication a reality.

Improve your practice and patient care

Recognizing the distinct challenges of practicing surgeons, AOPEER provides the tools for research that translate directly to patient care. The search for information and evidence and the ability to critically interpret what is encountered contributes to building a mindful and reflective practice. Science requires a constant evaluation of outcomes and this habit of seeking confirmation of effectiveness helps to focus and refine the pursuit of improved outcomes.

Research is a huge driver of change in medicine. For those who are interested in contributing to this process, AOPEER provides a wealth of information to optimize decision-making and hopefully answer your research-related questions.

AOPEER is free for members of all AO Clinical Divisions. Find out more.