‘Everyone felt really safe’
Seminar in Taiwan is an example of how on-site education can safely and successfully resume
03 October 2020
The East Asian island nation of Taiwan led the world in its fast, efficient effort to beat back COVID-19 and now—with just a handful of COVID-19 deaths and just over 500 confirmed infections to date—Taiwan is leading in its approach to reopening. The AO CMF Asia Pacific region has its own role in that reopening: Last month, Taiwan was the site of the region’s first on-site, face-to-face medical education event with international faculty since the pandemic began.
Prof Han Tsung Liao, MD, PhD, organized the AO CMF Seminar—Advances in Management of Congenital and Secondary Craniofacial Deformity, conducted September 19–20, in Taipei City.
“Because the Taiwan government’s management of COVID-19 has been so successful, we are able to start offering on-site events earlier than other countries,” Liao explains. “This has been difficult for surgeons because they have not been able to go abroad to teach or to learn—all social activity was stopped. But this approach has made it possible for us to offer this educational opportunity.”
In total, 100 participants were on-site for the event, where the safety of participants and faculty were a top priority.
“It had been a long five or six months of missing these opportunities.”
Providing that essential knowledge, in addition to Liao, were international faculty member Maarten Koudstaal Erasmus (University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands) and regional faculty Yasushi Sugawara (Lilla Craniofacial Clinic, Tokyo Japan), and Xu-Dong Wang (the Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai China). International faculty and regional faculty joined the event online via videoconferencing, and Taiwanese faculty joined on-site.
“In the rest of the world, the pandemic is still developing, so we have to find other means of offering educational events, but in Taiwan we have proven that when the situation is under control we can offer safe, on-site education by using technology to bring regional and international faculty to the event,” Liao says. “Our main takeaways from this event is that on-site events must have safety controls in place. In our case, participants were able to take new knowledge of posttraumatic secondary deformity and craniostenosis back to their practices and, hopefully, achieve better outcomes for their patients.”