AO College Winter edition 2023–2024

Designed for young surgeons in the Middle East and Northern Africa

AO College is a cross-divisional program for highly enthusiastic and motivated young surgeons based in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region.

If you are a Trauma, Spine, or Craniomaxillofacial (CMF) surgeon who is currently within 2-5 years of your residency/training program after graduating medical/dental school and are seeking to further enhance your career by developing globally recognized excellence in surgical, research, teaching, and leadership skills, this intensive, three-month program is for you.

Applications for Winter edition 2023-2024 are now open.

Program dates: October 7, 2023 – February 10, 2024

Participation fee:

MENA upper middle & high income countries (see list): 150 USD

MENA low & lower middle income countries (see list): 75 USD

Why should you join?

Fully immersive online program

Personal access to some of the top surgeons in the MENA region and the world

Access to exclusive AO educational and training offerings

Upon completion, participants receive certificates of recognition and awards

You will complete activities in the following areas:

  • Become an active junior member in an AO Study Club in MENA with top international speakers.
  • Complete an AO basic research training program.
  • Complete a personal development program including communication, leadership, and teaching skills.
  • You will be mentored by our leading regional faculty.
  • Complete an online seminar within your clinical division.

AO College

Who can apply?

The AO College initiative aims to equip successful applicants with the knowledge to better serve their patients and become distinguished ambassadors and members of the AO. Participants must be eager to engage with surgeons in MENA and across the world, and enthusiastic about integrating into and participating in the AO community.

Eligibility criteria:

  • You are currently a surgeon within 2–5 years of your residency/training program following graduating your medical/dental school.
  • You are from the MENA region.
  • You are practicing in one of the following clinical fields: Trauma, Spine, CMF.
  • You are an enthusiastic and motivated individual.
  • You have excellent communication skills.
  • You possess great teamwork skills and an ability to connect in a multicultural environment.
  • You have a good command of English.
  • You have a stable internet connection.


Within the program there are numerous awards available:

  • The top 10 participants per clinical division will receive a 1-year membership (AO Trauma - upon completion of an AO Trauma Basic course)
  • The top 3 participants per clinical division (9 in total), will receive in addition to membership, a voucher valued at up to CHF 300 toward the AO course(s) of your choosing.


Faizan Abdul Hussain Lakhdir

“AO College has provided not only an opportunity to discuss and share clinical knowledge but also shared experiences of world class faculty, amazing staff and support, and interactions with residents all around the world. Improved my skills and perspectives. Extremely thankful to all of them for this opportunity. Highly recommended for all aspiring young surgeons around the world.”

Faizan Abdul Hussain Lakhdir, Pakistan, CMF

Ch Anele

“The program organisation was brilliant, and it's content quite robust, cutting across a vast array topical spine care pathology. I am privileged to have participated in the program, as the evidence-based knowledge, and upskill garnered has imparted immensely on my local practice, and decision-making processes. The program is highly recommended for young spine/neurosurgeons, as it provides a foundation for evidence-based, goal-oriented, and patient centred spine care.”

Christopher Anele

Beat Hammer

“AO College is a great program where you can meet, learn, and network with world known experts in our field. It has been a wonderful experience for me to interact with young surgeons in MENA.”

Prof Dr Beat Hammer, Aarau, Switzerland

Muhammad Wajid

“AO College fosters new talent by connecting surgeons to develop professional competence with the help of local and international trauma experts.“

Prof Muhammad Wajid, Chairperson AO Trauma Community Development Commission

Asdrubal Falavigna

“AO College Spine program not only introduces young surgeons to Spine Surgery, but also introduces them to the field of clinical research.”

Prof. Asdrubal Falavigna, Chairman AO Spine International Board


AO College

AO College 2022 earns enthusiastic reviews as call for 2023–2024 term quickly approaches

The project team 2023

Sabine Girod

Sabine Girod

Past Chairperson AO CMF Community Development Commission

Amir Elbarbary

Chairperson AO CMF MENA Board

Mohammad El-Sharkawi

Past Chairperson AO Spine MENA Board

El Zaher Hassan

El-Zaher Hassan

Chairperson AO Trauma MENA Board

We are happy to answer your questions and provide you with additional information.

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