Call for applications: German Ochoa Traveling Fellowship

In 2015 the Germán Ochoa Traveling Fellowship was established in order to allow senior surgeons within the AO Spine community to travel to a spine center of their choice acting as an 'ambassador' for and promoting AO Spine.

26 November 2018

The award allows for the winner to spend up to 4 weeks in another center and visitation can be to an established centre in the developed world or at a hospital in a less developed economic climate. The award of 10,000 CHF is designed to allow the winner the freedom to choose what they would like to achieve during their time at another center. Winners so far have travelled to China, Guatamala, the UK, Germany, Saudi Arabia and this year's winner will be visiting Cambodia, Azerbijan and Georgia shortly.


  • Paying member of AO Spine
  • At least 5 years of teaching experience with AO Spine
  • Completion of AO Spine's Training for Chairpersons program
  • Experience as a Chair of an AO Spine educational event
  • Motivation letter describing the applicant's personal contribution to and passion for surgeon education, specifically with AO Spine, and how the applicant will benefit from the fellowship experience and through it bring even more value to AO Spine's educational activities


  • Fill in and submit the application form including your motivation letter, and your CV by 15th February, 2019 to
  • The AO Spine Education Commission selects the winner from all candidates who fulfill the above-listed criteria based on their faculty merit and motivation letter
  • Announcement of winner at the Global Spine Congress in May, 2019 in Toronto

Terms and Conditions

  • The spine center of preference of the chosen GO Fellow can be a non-AOSpine Center
  • The Fellow needs to have a provisional acceptance as an observer from the leading surgeon of the spine center
  • The agreement and all logistical arrangements need to be done between the spine center and the Fellow. AO Spine will solely act as a sponsor covering travel and accommodation costs, (up to the maximum allowed)
  • In case no accommodation can be arranged in the premises of the spine center, AO Spine will reimburse the costs of staying at a hotel (maximum 4 star rating)
  • Upon announcement of the winner during the GSC 2019 the amount of 3,333 CHF will be transferred to the winners bank account upon completion of a reimbursement claim via the AO Spine website
  • A further 3,333 CHF will be provided to the winner once the plans for their trip is final (an email from the center they wish to visit must be submitted plus a detailed itinerary of the trip). Again a reimbursement claim must be submitted via the AO Spine website to receive the money.
  • Finally upon returning to their home country the winner must submit a final claim for 3,334 CHF with a detailed report on what he/she got out of the experience and how it supported the ethos of AO Spine
  • The fellowship takes place within a year after the announcement of the winner at the Global Spine Congress in May, 2019
  • All reports and motivational letters can be used by AO Spine for promotional reasons
  • Winners may be required to be interviewed on their experience which could additionally be used for promotional purposes
  • As the AO Spine Education Commission is responsible for scoring all applicants no current serving member of the commission can apply for this award

Germán Ochoa

A founding member of AO Spine Latin America and the first chairperson of its Education Committee, in 2000 Germán Ochoa was elected as Member of the AO Spine International Board for Education. He chaired the global AO Spine Education Commission 2011-2014. His involvement with AO Education for over 25 years speaks for his passion, immense experience in the academic field and exceptional contribution to bringing AO and AO Spine to the forefront of surgeon education.

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