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AO Trauma education

The largest global group of dedicated orthopedic and trauma surgeons, researchers, and operating room personnel (ORP) striving for excellence and volunteering for a common goal, AO Trauma demonstrated the AO's resilience in 2021. The clinical division piloted innovative new learning formats and methods, launched new courses closely simulating real-life operating room situations, expanded existing learning opportunities, and saw two of its books published in Chinese.

AO Grand Rounds answers demand for in-hospital training

Responding to hospitals' need to provide regular education to their surgical departments, the AO developed and piloted AO Grand Rounds, which comprises free, module-based content for AO faculty to deliver at their own hospitals. The AO Education Institute developed four modules and the program was piloted at hospitals in Saudi Arabia and Israel in 2021. The IT backbone necessary to automate the program is under construction and additional pilot events and a general rollout are planned for 2022.

AO Milestones: learning, training, assessment

AO Milestones, AO Trauma's competency-based training and assessment programs, piloted its new adaptive learning module in August 2021 for feedback to around 40 residents at hospitals linked to AO Milestones Task Force members in the United States and Canada. AO Milestones aims to establish the AO as a global leader in surgical education, with AO Trauma as the provider of globally trusted certificates of proficiency in key areas of trauma surgery. The program is the AO's direct response to learners' demand for personalized, just-in-time learning; the need for additional opportunities for skills training and practice; and the existing lack of validated, robust systems for performance assessment. Launch of the adaptive learning component of the hip program is planned for autumn 2022 in North America.


42,664 participants/322 events

  • International

    2,981 participants/15 events

  • North America

    6,908 participants/41 events

  • Latin America

    8,527​ participants/49​ events

  • Europe and Southern Africa

    8,831​ participants/120 events

  • Middle East and Northern Africa

    1,028​ participants/15 events

  • Asia Pacific

    14,389 participants/82 events

Faculty involvement

4,022 faculties/13,075 faculty days

  • International

    117 faculties/1,253 faculty days

  • North America

    580 faculties/3035faculty days

  • Latin America

    466​ faculties/1,042 faculty days

  • Europe and Southern Africa

    1,426​ faculties/4,104​ faculty days

  • Middle East and Northern Africa

    189 faculties/585​ faculty days

  • Asia Pacific

    1,244​ faculties/3,057​ faculty days

Fracture challenge: new, one-of-a-kind course format

Orthopedic trauma surgeons in 2021 got their first impression of AO Trauma's fracture challenge courses, a one-of-a-kind opportunity to take their fracture management skills to the next level under the guidance of master surgeons leading practical exercises using prefractured anatomical specimens and simulating challenging, real-life operating room (OR) situations. Post-event feedback from participants at the 2021 event in Madrid, Spain, indicated a high level of satisfaction: 100 percent of participants said they would recommend it to colleagues and 86 percent said they learned something new and plan to use that new knowledge in their practices. 2022 and 2023 fracture challenge courses will support the continuing professional development of orthopedic trauma surgeons across a range of fracture management topics—tibial plateau; knee, foot and ankle; and elbow and upper extremity.

Two books published in Chinese

Shandong Science & Technology Press in 2021 published Chinese-language editions of two AO Trauma books, Osteoporotic Fracture Care—Medical and Surgical Management (originally published in English in 2018) and Osteotomies Around the Knee (originally published in English in 2008). Publication of the two books in Chinese is a promising sign of demand for AO educational materials in the Chinese market.

AO START acetabulum module added

The AO continued to expand its gold-standard educational offering in 2021 with the addition of an acetabulum learning module to the AO Trauma Surgical Training and Assessment for Residents (AO START) program. Content—available in basic, intermediate, and complex categories and aligned with learning objectives defined by the AO Trauma Residents Education Program—includes several interactive, video-based case discussions, quizzes, multiple-choice questions, and self-assessment activities.