Looking ahead: Jan Bokemeyer outlines vision for his second term on the AO VET Community Development Commission
22 September 2021
As Jan Bokemeyer looks to his second term as a member of the AO VET Community Development Commission and a community development representative to the AO VET Europe and Southern Africa Board, he sees the unique AO VET network and digitalization—including myAO—as keys to extending the organization’s position as a key opinion leader in veterinary orthopedics.
Bokemeyer, a small animal specialist and cofounder of the 30-veterinarian small animal referral Tierklinik Kalbach in Frankfurt, Germany, in July began his second three-year term on the AO VET Community Development Commission. He and AO VET go back a long way.
“My first contact with the AO was as a student at an AO VET course in 1997,” he says. “After that, I visited several courses as a delegate or as faculty, and from 2013 was in charge of the annual princples course in Giessen, Germany. In the beginning, I was impressed with how expertly the events were organized and, of course, AO VET is the opinion leader in veterinary orthopedics, so it’s automatic to have contact with AO VET.”
A strong global network
Bokemeyer’s initial impressions of AO VET were cemented by a positive experience with the Freundeskreis (circle of friends) comprising German, Austrian, and Swiss AO VET members. That group, started in the 1960s by some of the region’s first veterinary fracture repair surgeons, researchers, and implant inventors, gave Bokemeyer a taste of what is now a strong, global network of AO VET surgeons, scientists and other professionals committed to advancing veterinary surgery to improve patient outcomes.
“One of the key factors differentiating AO VET from other organizations is the community: We are all truly colleagues, and it’s very interesting to get the perspectives of veterinary surgeons from around the world and learn how they solve problems in order to improve patient outcomes,” he says.
A clear vision
As a member of AO VET Community Development Commission, Bokemeyer has a clear vision for the next three years.
“The AO VET brand is very well-recognized and powerful. It is our job as the AO VET Community Development Commission to ensure that it remains the independent key opinion leader in the field of osteosynthesis/orthopaedic surgery,” he explains. “Additionally, in the coming years, it is important for us to connect different ideas and adjust various educational programs within various regions.”
Leveraging digital technology
Digitalization—including leveraging digital technology to deliver educational content and facilitate seamless interaction between AO VET members—is one means of extending the clinical division’s position and adding value for members.
“In the past year, digital learning and educational events have reached a new level and the pandemic situation intensified and fastened the need for transformation,” Bokemeyer adds. “This is is a critical period to advance AO VET as the premier provider for postgraduate veterinary education and to adjust the AO events with online activities. The AO´s traditional values have to be adapted to new circumstances.”
myAO, the AO’s digital gateway to expertise, education, and innovation, is an example of digital transformation within the AO—and AO VET. The platform allows AO VET members to connect, securely exchange knowledge with peers, access leading clinical and scientific expertise, and interact in secure myAO groups. Users get fast access to relevant active groups, case discussions, scientific journals, and AO educational events based on their individual interests.
Lifelong education, global community
Additionally, Bokemeyer’s vision for the next three years includes ensuring that community development and the quality and practical organization of educational offerings go hand in hand.
“We have to continue to promote new educational opportunities while maintaining the AO Vet brand as the top organization for postgraduate education,” he says. “AO VET is an outstanding global organization which gives younger surgeons in particular the perfect platform to ensure lifelong education as well as access to a community of surgeons worldwide.”
AO VET and ECVS: natural partnership
Bokemeyer is also enthusiastic about AO VET’s partnership with the European College of Veterinary Surgeons (ECVS).
“For me, it’s natural partnership. Both organizations have the same view on veterinary medicine: Both evidence-based, looking for better solutions to problems, and doing research,” he said. “Working together, AO VET and ECVS can strengthen the whole vet community.”