AO Trauma Hand North America 2022 Update

Dr. Chaitanya Mudgal, Chair of the AO Trauma Hand NA Education Committee, covers recent developments and upcoming goals for AO NA hand education

09 February 2022


The AO Trauma North America Hand Education Committee (AO TNA HEC) has had an exceptionally busy and productive time since the onset of the pandemic. As a group, we have looked at this period as an opportunity to cement our leadership role in providing cutting edge hand surgical education that is online and accessible to viewers across the world.

We have made several meaningful changes to our faculty and our committee. We very strongly believe in the ODI (opportunity, diversity, and inclusion) initiative of AO, as well as considering the end users of our AO NA offerings, including trainees as well as community colleagues. 

With these philosophies in mind, and the desire to extend our collaborative efforts, new AO TNA HEC positions were created, including:

  • AO NA trauma division representative (Christina Boulton, MD)
  • AO NA community education representative (Jonathan Shearin, MD)
  • Fifth-year resident representative (Kiran Agarwal-Harding, MD, Monica Shoji, MD)
  • Inaugural partner nation representative (India; Anil Bhat, MD)
  • AO NA hand therapy representative (Rebecca Neiduski, PhD)

Each of these new committee appointments are for two years, while the resident representative is a one-year appointment.



Since the onset of the pandemic, we have been able to conduct nearly 65 web-based learning episodes spread across five series (in addition to our stand-alone webinars), all of which are available on the AO Trauma Hand NA YouTube channel

Our latest offering is the Master Class series, a 13-part series which offers an in-depth assessment, analysis, and literature review of a single condition or operation coming from a master in that particular field. We have completed seven sessions and they have been extremely successful.

We will be rounding off this series with a Master from our partner nation (Raja Sabapathy, MD) and an International Round Table on Surgical pearls in upper limb surgery from across the world. This round table will feature 15 surgeons from across the globe, each of whom will present one surgical pearl in five minutes with five slides.

We have increased our footprint internationally by partnering with Ortho TV, a web-based learning platform with viewership across the globe. As a result of this partnership, our viewership has increased from between 100-200 participants pre-pandemic to nearly 900-1000, further cementing the AO Trauma Hand NA leadership role in world hand surgery education.

Furthermore, we have made significant strides in adding and promoting the role of women faculty in hand educational events. Several new women faculty have been added, many from the field of Plastic Surgery—another effort of ours to represent various disciplines.


No hand surgery educational endeavor or surgical procedure is complete without the participation and the expertise of our hand therapy colleagues. With this in mind, we have created a position as a committee member for our hand therapy colleagues (Rebecca Neiduski, PhD).  We have also conducted an educational series aimed at our therapist colleagues which has led to a significant increase in their participation and viewership and has been extremely successful.

For the forthcoming year, we will continue five of our regular stand-alone webinars. In-person learning will resume with the Fellows Course (June, Tampa, FL), and the Advanced Upper Extremity course (October, Tampa, FL). Our regional one-day AO NA seminars will be held in Cleveland and Dallas in October and November respectively.

My term as Chair will be rounded off with an online learning series on Complications in upper limb surgery, a six-part series starting May 2022. July 1, I will be handing off the Chair position to Marco Rizzo, MD, who will be a spectacular standard-bearer for all that the AO TNA HEC stands for and promotes. I wish him every success in his new role.

On a personal note, I am enormously grateful for having had the privilege and honor of having been Chair of this committee during this time. It has been a fabulous experience to work with all the talented staff at AO NA and my colleagues on this committee. Thank you all so very much. It’s been awesome!

Chaitanya Mudgal, MD
Chair, AO Trauma Hand NA Education Committee


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