“The future of AO Spine Education is bright”

New Chairperson embraces change

06 July 2020

Emre Acaroglu

Emre Acaroğlu

As of July 2020, the AO Spine Education Commission is led by a new Chairperson, Emre Acaroğlu. Acaroğlu is based in Ankara, Turkey, and has been involved with AO Spine since its inception. Having recently completed his master's in education Acaroğlu is looking forward to utilizing his knowledge for the benefit of our organization.

Emre Acaroğlu follows in the footsteps of Chairperson Bryan Ashman who successfully launched the new Global Diploma Exam this year as well as many other educational projects for AO Spine. The AO SEC thank him for his service and are grateful for his wealth of experience in education which he shared with the team.

AO Spine spoke to the new Chairperson about his plans for the future of AO Spine Education.

What is your vision for your term as Chairperson of AO Spine Education Commission?

As a general vision statement, I may say that I would like to see AO Spine Education assuming and solidifying a position of leadership in education throughout the world especially pertaining to the quality of its offerings. Our priorities to this end will need to be:

• developing, integrating, and internalizing new educational technologies like technology enhanced and online learning,
• gradually reorganizing our educational paradigm to become more learner centered, and
• assigning special importance and relevance to faculty development in order to train the people who will be instrumental in these transitions.

The whole world has recently faced unprecedented challenges. How has AO Spine Education responded?

I believe the uncertainties faced by the world we live in today are laden with challenges but also opportunities. Many of these challenges, like the inability to organize and execute face to face events are beyond our control and therefore are not worthy of wasting time and energy upon. The opportunities however are real and are there to be taken. We just need to identify and exploit them.

In this regard, the most important of these opportunities in my opinion has been an almost forced transition to online and distance education. We have been working on such a transition anyway for some time now, so AO Spine was not only the best and most prepared organization to accommodate this forced transition but also, I would say, the single organization which actually embraced it.

What do you think is the future of education for AO Spine?

AO Spine is a highly resourced organization regarding funding, know-how, and humans. So, I think the future of AO Spine education has the potential for being exceptionally bright, provided we develop an awareness of and adapt to a changing world. By this, I do not necessarily allude to a changing world by the pandemic but rather, specifically a changing world by the revolution in information and communication technologies. We shall need to analyze, understand, and adopt the potential afforded by this revolution. I am particularly optimistic about our ability to perceive these requirements and proceed accordingly.

In summary, I believe the future of AO Spine Education will be bright, but this future may only be achievable through our hard work and perseverance.

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