FacultyFocus 2-2019

Participants of the AOVET Retreat, Cascais, Portugal, May 2019

AOVET retreat focused on education and community topics

Education and community topics were center stage at AOVET’s retreat, which was held from May 10–11, 2019, in Cascais, Portugal. 84 faculty members from 24 countries led by the International Board participated in this special 2-day event marking AOVET’s 50th anniversary.


Rollout of standard curricula

As always, AOVET is focused on optimizing educational benefits by targeting highest educational outcomes: patient health as well as surgeon performance and competence. These are the drivers of the rollout of standard curricula for AOVET Principles Courses and AOVET Advanced courses. The standard curricula establish a solid foundation for providing quality education based on a combination of faculty development, backward planning, the seven principles of adult education and cooperation between surgeons and educationalists. In fact, since 2017, nine AOVET courses have been conducted around the world according to the curricula, and many more are planned.


Curriculum development for AOVET Masters Courses

The retreat also triggered new curriculum development for AOVET Masters courses. Backward planning got underway with staff and guidance from the AO Education Institute. The curriculum development segment included nearly a full day of breakout sessions: Participants were split into groups to tackle ten topics, with each group focusing on one topic. These topics included complications, tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TLPO), toy breeds, sports medicine traumatology, arthrodesis, felines, distal extremities, minimally invasive osteosynthesis (MIO), deformity, and stifle surgery.


Backward planning involved identification of a patient problem; deriving the necessary competencies; describing the target audience; defining the objectives (ie, knowledge, skills and attitude) for each of the derived competencies; identifying the necessary procedures; and listing ideas for curriculum delivery, including a concept.


After a review of the material, steps will be taken to create curricula also for AOVET Masters Courses.


New AOVET equine approach

Additionally, at the retreat, participants discussed a new equine approach. Activities around this topic included analyzing the current situation and developing aspirations, with the goal of providing a sustainable framework for equine education.


An equine task force has been established to drive this endeavor forward.


Course chairperson and faculty guidelines

Guidelines for course chairpersons and faculty were another important retreat topic. These guidelines address requirements, responsibility, the selection process (Faculty and Chairperson Education Programs), performance measurement, and rotation principles for chairpersons and faculty.


The rotation principles will create room for emerging talents to grow into new roles and provide a platform for nurturing young leaders, as well as enhancing participants’ experience and exposing them to a broad spectrum of teachers.  Moreover, the rotation principles will allow outgoing faculty and chairpersons to apply their experience and skills to other assignments. For example, faculty and chairpersons who have been primarily involved in principles courses would have the means for using their skills to teach advanced courses.


Retreat participants also discussed the Faculty Education Program (FEP) and Chairperson Education Program (CEP) as key means for maintaining and further improving—where possible—the quality of AOVET education.


As a guiding principle, exceptions to the guidelines are possible. Such exceptions will be based on proposals by regional boards and are to be approved by the International Education Commission.


And of course, the new guidelines, which have been in place since January 2019, are open for adjustment and improvements.


AOVET will keep the community posted on future developments.



















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