24. September 2013
Thirty-four years of commitment with the AO
Some associations tend to get stronger with time—especially when they provide more than adequate mental stimulation with like-minded people, keep you at the cutting edge of knowledge, and lead to career progression and change. That’s what the association with AOTrauma is all about.
The AOTrauma journey—a lifelong involvement
Hazem A Azeem began his journey with the AO in 1979 as a participant at an AOTrauma Course-Basic Principles of Fractures Management held in Alexandria Egypt. He says, “The pioneers teaching us included Willenegger, Rosen, Ochsner, Rüedi and many others. Utterly impressed, I went on to attend the AOTrauma Advanced Principles Course in London at the Royal College of Surgeons in 1981.”
Azeem started applying the AO principles and techniques successfully. He became an almost regular attendee of the Davos Courses. Soon the AO started proving to be a lifelong commitment. “By 1992, I became faculty at local courses in Cairo and Dubai (2004). Then, between 2009 and 2013, I became part of the regional and international faculty at courses—and finally, in Davos,” recalls Azeem.
His teaching career grew, as did his responsibilities within the AO. Azeem was elected an AOTrauma Middle East Board member at the time of its inception, and then became Chair of AOTME Research Committee in 2009. He was also an AO Trustee representative of Egypt (from January 2005—2010). Azeem’s position and title was renewed for a second term of three years, this time as a Middle East representative. He then became the AOTME Chair, and consequently an AOTrauma International Board (AOTIB) member.
His vision: education and awareness
As AOTME Chair, Azeem says, “Education is the main concern. More local courses in the different countries are needed; and for this, more faculty education and courses for coaching chairs and faculty are required. Another priority is fellowship. And then research, which needs to be promoted more for mini grants and have an active forum every three years. The Community Development Committee must go hand-in-hand with these aspects to increase the number of members and member-involvement in the local trauma and orthopedic societies in the region. Real work needs to be done by the region’s members and the Board”.
With responsibility come challenges
Azeem defines the challenges related to the nature of the region, stating, “The limited budget is one of the constraints. The AOTrauma Middle East region is characterized by a wide diversification of countries—some rich, others not; some liberal, others conservative; some in need of basic education, others research. Political instability is another constraint…So, through my tenure, I will continue with our efforts as we did earlier under the chairmanship of Mamoun Kremli.” He concludes, “I am proud having been elected. However, I feel more responsible now for the continuation and promotion of the region and its success. To be chair is a privilege, but to be successful at it is a hard task.”