Davos Courses 2016

05. December 2016

The opening ceremony of the AO Davos Courses 2016 took place at the Congress Center on December 4.

Participants listen to Nikolaus Renner opening the Davos Courses 2016

​Nikolaus Renner, President of the AO Foundation welcomed the AOTrauma and AORecon participants, faculty and special guests to week one of the AO Foundation Davos Courses 2016.

The AO President began by explaining that "the AO Davos Courses is the single largest educational event in the fields of trauma, spine, CMF, veterinary, recon and neuro medicine. This year there are 1,400 participants, 450 faculty from 76 countries in attendance at the 23 single courses of high level evidence based education". Nikolaus Renner elaborated on how the spirit and the culture of the AO Founders who started a medical revolution is still present at the Davos Courses today. The AO is now a global organization with five regions and 19,000 members.

Nikolaus Renner went on to explain to the audience that the AO principles have evolved into gold standards and how the institutes of the AO (AO Research Institute, AO Education Institute, AOTK, and AO Clinical Investigation and Documentation) are the four pillars of success for the AO. He concluded by stating that for the AO Foundation, "education is our first priority".

The participants then watched a short film which showed from a patients' perspective what an AO trained surgeon member can bring to their case.

Next to the podium Norbert Haas, AO Foundation Past-President and Chair of the AORecon Steering Board explained the value of the flagship AO Foundation education event for participants from his personal perspective. He began with stories and images from the first Davos Courses in 1960 explaining how over the decades the AO has developed "unrivalled experience and knowledge in the organization of high class seminars and courses".  

Norbert Haas went on to point out the AO has the best-in-class faculty, surgeons who have all participated in these AO courses since they started their careers and have been taught by the AO what differentiates a good lecture from a great lecture and to be able to understand the learners’ needs. Young surgeons who come to these courses benefit from their knowledge. He urged the participants to create their own personal network at these courses as this will be a cornerstone of their own professional career. Norbert Haas concluded by exhorting participants to prioritize planning in the OR and always to remember that "we treat human beings and every operation has an impact, positive or negative. Anyone who treats patients must work to the highest standards".

The final speaker of the evening was Jack Wilber, Chairperson of the AOTrauma International Board. Jack Wilber spoke about his journey and career through the AO and what it has done for him. His story began in 1983 with his first AO Principles Course and continues to this day with his role as AOTrauma International Board Chair. Jack Wilber explained how "the AO runs the best faculty development program in the world, how as course participants you get to learn from the best using the latest educational methods, you learn the most advanced techniques using the best equipment and you learn in the greatest environment with highly motivated people". 

For Jack Wilber the AO has meant learning "how to be a true leader from the very best and the very brightest". For him the national and international recognition has meant great academic advancement. He went on to elaborate that AO has changed his career, it has opened up a world of opportunities for him, "it made me a better learner, a better teacher, a better surgeon, and a better person".

Jack Wilber went on to speak about what the AO offers surgeons (from education and fellowships to research, teaching and leadership opportunities), and urged those who were not already members to join AOTrauma, "get involved and be involved".


Icon Norbert Haas talking about the world class faculty at the AO
Icon Jack Wilber explains to the audience who AOTrauma is
Icon Participants hear about the AO World night