Dear Reader,

It is AO Davos Courses time! In this Issue of the AO Spine Newsletter, we are delighted to showcase the AO's flagship educational event, with additional focus on innovative learning concepts and initiatives.
The year 2020 has been a roller coaster of experiences—a ride through inconveniences and severe incidents, but also bustling with new opportunities and technologies. Going fully online with the AO Davos Courses 2020 is laden with new kinds of interaction and we will be able to live and share unforgettable Davos moments for the first time virtually! We have learned a lot and we shall keep on learning and refining our educational offerings based on this year’s experiences.

In this issue, we first talk with Daniel Sciubba, who accomplished the world’s first augmented reality supported spine surgeries with his team. Listening to Sciubba, you can only agree that we are living in one of the most exciting times in the history of surgery and medicine.

We will explore more state-of-the art technologies with the AO Davos Courses 2020. We offer numerous open opportunities for networking and learning during the live online courses on December 3–6, 2020, and we invite you to discover the virtual environment in this Newsletter.

We are extremely proud to launch the AO Spine Global Diploma Training Program, the first ever globally developed systematic spine surgery training pathway for recently graduated orthopedic and neurosurgeons. Applications are already open for spine surgeons in India.

Registrations have also just opened for the Global Spine Congress 2021 in Paris, France, on May 5–8, 2021. The abstract submissions exceeded all expectations, and our new hybrid format will allow attending in person or virtually.

Across AO Spine, Regions have been busy designing new learning and interaction opportunities. For example, first experiences from AO Spine North America's bi-weekly Case Consult have been extremely encouraging. If you wish you had expert input for an upcoming case, feedback for a completed one, or an opportunity to observe others' experiences, it is worth finding out more.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-forwarded digitalization, and education will never be the same again—medical education no exception. While the role of the spine surgeon in education has taken on new aspects, it remains as crucial as ever, as we hear of from Thomas Mroz in an interview with AO Spine.

Now is a good time to investigate closer the AO Program for Education and Excellence in Research (AO PEER) and how it empowers surgeons to gain confidence and fill knowledge gaps. The new, self-directed online AO PEER Course will be launched at the AO Davos Courses 2020 on December 3.

A huge milestone comes from the AO Spine Knowledge Forum Spinal Cord Injury RECODE-DCM study: A Core Minimum Dataset for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy will be launched during the AO Davos Courses 2020 in a free webinar. This is also your chance to get involved and become an Ambassador.

The AO Spine Knowledge Forum Trauma has validated a universal patient reported outcome instrument specifically for spinal trauma patients (PROST). It allows measuring and comparing treatments options and can change the quality of a patient's life.

Also, in this issue, the AO Spine Knowledge Forum Deformity reports back from a study prospectively evaluating major deformity spine surgeries for elderly (PEEDS). The results are promising!

We would like to point you also to the latest edition of the AO ITC Innovations Magazine, just published and available online. The annual magazine showcases the most recent AO approved solutions and offers insight into cutting edge treatments and tools across all clinical areas.

Finally, we invite you to a "fireside chat" with the AO Spine Chairperson S. Rajasekaran, who challenges the dichotomy of work versus life and champions a positive vision of individual choice, challenge, and inspiration and shares some of his favorite timeless quotes.

I wish all our readers a relaxing and peaceful year end. We shall return in 2021 with ever-improving quality and expertise.

Yours sincerely,

Emre Acaroğlu

AO Spine Education Commission Chairperson

Newsletter 27 | November 2020

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