“A life-changing professional experience to all members”
Pedro Berjano is the new AO Spine Europe and Southern Africa Chairperson
It gives us great pleasure to welcome Pedro Berjano in his new role as the AO Spine Europe and Southern Africa (AO SESA) Chairperson. Berjano started his three-year term on July 1, 2022. He aims to, no more, no less, start creating life-changing professional experiences to all AO Spine members. Here, Berjano also gives some good advice to all who wish to pursue such governance roles and keep you a busy life in balance.
In this important role, Berjano follows Lorin Benneker, who continues as Past-Chairperson for another year. Berjano emphasizes the importance of continuation in all leadership roles: "I think my goals are quite simple. One is to consolidate what has been achieved or initiated by my predecessors. The second goal is to try to provide a better and more intense experience to all our members."
Berjano knows that for people actively involved in governance and faculty roles, AO Spine can be a game changer and an unparalleled experience. "We should achieve the same for all our members, giving them a professional life-changing experience. That would be a great achievement, if we were able to achieve it even by 20%."
In the past few years, the pandemic disrupted the realization of many planned activities, but Berjano says it was an important lesson. "The also pandemic taught us, for example, that we are smarter than we thought. We learned to do things that seemed impossible before. Before the pandemic, running a webinar required the chairperson and the presenters to travel to Switzerland to a recording studio, and all that. Now, we do it all ourselves, from our homes! There is still some way to go, but if can free the power of online education and zero cost hospital-based education, we can provide a lot more involvement to our members."
In a recent talk with Jeff Wang from the "Live from the GSC" studio during the Global Spine Congress in Las Vegas, Berjano revealed a few tips for a healthy work-life balance. "I don't have a secret solution. But I have a wife who is not shy of telling me what she expects from me, which is a good thing! I suggest to all my colleagues who want to have life–work balance, to ask their partners to be explicit in their expectations. That helps. The second thing is to understand that you cannot put two liters of water into a one-liter bottle. So, you have to free time in your calendar. You have to dedicate time in your calendar to an activity like a chairmanship. Of course, the new task will have an effect my practice: I will have less time for surgery, less time for seeing patients, but that's life. If you want to achieve, you have to give time to your endeavors."
About Pedro Berjano
Dr. Pedro Berjano is currently head of the GSpine4 Division at the IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi in Milan, Italy. He graduated in 1988 in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Granada in Spain and specialized in Orthopedics and Traumatology at the Monographic Hospital of Traumatology, Ortopedia y Rehabilitacion Asepeyo in Madrid. In 2003 he obtained a PhD from the University of Salamanca.
Berjano's areas of expertise are minimally invasive spinal surgery and its application to scoliosis, adult deformity surgery, and anterior spinal surgery. He is considered by his colleagues to be one of the leading experts in minimally invasive lateral approach surgery, revision surgery and spinal deformity in adults. He is speaker and chairman in many national and international conferences, as well as author and co-author of more than 150 scientific articles in impacted journals. His articles have received more than 2,500 citations.