Davos Courses 2016

12. December 2016

The opening ceremony for the Davos Courses 2016 Week 2, took place at the Congress Center on December 11.

Nikolaus Renner explains the size and nature of the courses

​Nikolaus Renner, President of the AO Foundation, welcomed the participants from AOSpine, AOCMF, AOVET and AONeuro, the faculty members and a number of special guests to week two 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 are still present at the Davos Courses today. The AO is now a global organization with five regions and 19,000 members which "thinks globally and acts locally".

Nikolaus Renner went on to explain to the audience that the AO principles have evolved into gold standards and how the four 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 AO trained surgeons can bring to their case.

Next to the podium Mike Grevitt, Chair AOSpine Education Commission, explained the value of the flagship AO Foundation education event for participants from the global perspective. He started by mentioning that he took his first AO course in Davos 20 years ago and went on to explain why these courses are so important to the AO.

According to Mike Grevitt, education is embedded in the DNA of the AO since its inception and what distinguishes the AO's educational offerings from others is down to the four concepts surrounding education at the center of the AO, namely "exposure, interaction, multicultural and friendship". The education that the AO offers is based on very "secure foundations supported as it is by the award winning AO Education Institute and the commitment of the faculty which allows the AO to offer best-in-class education and innovation in delivery".

The unique intercultural networking experience the Davos Courses offers comes from the participants and faculty from 76 countries which presents invaluable opportunities for those starting out in their careers to learn from the clinical realities of colleagues from around the world and Mike Grevitt urged the participants to "embrace that diversity".

To conclude Mike Grevitt explained that the faculty relish the opportunity to interact with the participants and learn how best to service their needs. Many of the faculty members at the Davos Courses are Global Key Opinion Leaders in their fields and participants should take advantage of their presence and build networks and make friendships that will last a lifetime.

The final speaker of the evening Warren Schubert, Chair, AOCMF International Board spoke about "What's in it for me". He gave an entertaining talk on his personal experience of the AO and its "phenomenal leadership" mentioning various past and present presidents and the range of different specialties represented at the highest levels of the organization. Warren Schubert said that these "incredible people have devoted their lives and decades to making the AO one of the best educational organizations in the world".

He went on to explain that no other CMF organization has the sort of diversity of the different sub-specialties as AOCMF and listed all the "icons" of craniomaxillofacial surgery who have been part of AOCMF over the decades and that he has personally learnt from. He elaborated that he is a member of 22 organizations but that none comes close to the AO which continually offers the highest quality education, people on the cutting edge in their chosen fields, and opportunities to work with experts from different cultures and specialties.

Warren Schubert spoke briefly about the important work being undertaken by the AO Alliance Foundation in countries where the AO has never before had a presence before concluding with a quote from one of the AO Founding Fathers Martin Allgöwer who defined the AO as an "association of friends with a common purpose".


Icon Mike Grevitt explaining the strong educational foundation of the AO
Icon Warren Schubert talking about the AO Alliance Foundation
Icon Particpants watch a video during the opening ceremony