Online learning and teaching have made a key contribution to medical education over the past few months, and the AO network has been at the forefront of this advance. We invite you to share your online teaching experiences with us, so that we can share them with AO faculty across the clinical divisions and unit. To share your story, contact us via e-mail.
Looking back to exactly ten years ago, June 2–3, 2011, the very first AO Faculty Education Program (FEP) was conducted in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
This new program conducted in a blended format was led by Mamoun Kremli from Saudi Arabia and Hatem Said from Egypt, with Sohail Bajammal from Saudi Arabia joining in the educator role.
The new FEP was one element in the comprehensive suite of AO faculty development programs with a professional development path for AO surgeons, to ensure the AO's position as a provider of gold-standard medical education.
The new FEP, aimed at supporting surgeons to reflect upon and improve their individual faculty performance, was from then on delivered in a blended format, with a 1.5-day face-to-face event and a dedicated online platform for preparatory activities five weeks prior to the live event and continued interaction and discussions after the event. This first face-to-face event in Dubai revolved around lively discussions and immersive workshops on lecturing, facilitating discussion groups and practical exercises, and putting participants on the spot as they presented to peers/faculty/educator and got constructive feedback on their performance.
In the ten years since that inaugural FEP, the AO has proudly trained a large number of faculty members to a high standard. The fact that today's FEP follows, by and large, the same format is a tribute to the usefulness and relevance of these programs. So, what is in store for the future? The faculty development team occasionally receives requests to provide online FEPs—and for understandable reasons such as travel time and budgets, and especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the faculty development team feels strongly that faculty training for face-to-face education only makes sense in the face-to-face setting. At the same time, there are significant developments in the pipeline, such as training specifically for online learning and an online chairperson program, so stay tuned!