AO CMF breaks new ground with first ‘Mastering the Nose’ event at AO Davos Courses 2020

18 December 2020

More than 400 participants from 51 countries and five continents and 99 world-class faculty from a variety of craniomaxillofacial (CMF) specialties made AO CMF’s course offering at the first-ever fully online AO Davos Courses 2020 (December 3–6) an overwhelming success.

The highly interactive AO CMF Online Course—Mastering the Nose: Advanced Midface Concepts was the world’s first course focused on a single anatomical region. The innovative course approach of exploring one anatomical region from a variety of CMF perspectives—including plastic surgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat), and oral maxillofacial surgery—showcased AO CMF’s unique multispecialty orientation.

The four-day AO CMF course, delivered in daily modules across two different time zones, focused on one aspect of the midface region per day:

  • December 3, module 1: Aesthetic and Functional Surgery including Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • December 4, module 2: Congenital Deformities including Cleft: Surgical Planning and Prevention of Secondary Deformity
  • December 5, module 3: Traumatic Injuries of the Nose and Central Midface
  • December 6, module 4: Ablation and Reconstruction: Treatment of Ablative Deformities in Hard and Soft Tissue

Participants were center stage for more than 60 percent of the course, working closely with faculty during the small group discussions, each bringing together four to six participants and two to four faculty members—an excellent participant-to-faculty ratio.

Participant Ana Cecilia Valdes Borroto, a native of Cuba who currently lives in South Africa, called the AO’s live virtual environment “amazing.”

“Thank you to the AO for this experience,” she commented.

“Fantastic four days!” was the conclusion of participant Silas Bere from Namibia.

Faculty member Marcelo Figari from the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires in Argentina appreciated the opportunity to be part of this milestone in AO history both as faculty and chairperson of the fourth day module.

“It was a pleasure serving as faculty for this fantastic first virtual version of the Davos Courses,” he said.

Faculty member Chitra Chakravarthy from India echoed that conclusion.

“Fantastic program...wonderfully organized! Great experience,” she said.

The unique, participant-centered, module-based course format allowed participants to choose the modules that best fit their specific needs—or take all of the modules. In fact, the course was so popular that after all seats were sold, there remained a long waiting list of CMF surgeons. Adding value to AO CMF’s offering at the AO Davos Courses 2020 was the premier of a self-directed, online version of the popular AO Program for Education and Excellence in Research (AO PEER) principles of clinical research course.

Lynne Fryer, organizing cochair for the AO CMF course at the AO Davos Courses 2020, cited a “fantastic organizing committee and individual course chairs” for the event’s success.

“It was an honor to chair this groundbreaking course with my cochair, Ian Sharp,” she said. “The organizing committee and individual course chairs worked tirelessly to deliver an exceptional experience. The future is truly exciting—I can’t wait for next year!

Calling the 2020 AO CMF courses at the AO’s annual flagship event “a new experience for us all,” Ian said the move to a completely new online environment allowed the engagement of faculty and participants around the world on an unprecedented scale.

“It was a personal pleasure to be involved with so many colleagues and friends old and new, in true AO fashion,” Ian said.”Despite COVID-19, we worked together to deliver a truly exceptional educational experience which was also great fun. Credit must go to the AO team in Davos; without them, this would simply not have been possible.”

To learn about the AO CMF courses remaining in 2020, as well as educational events planned for 2021, please visit

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