Although SICOT is a global Society with an individual membership, we see an absolute need for a closer relationship with National Orthopaedic Societies on the one hand and International Subspecialty Societies on the other. For the latter, we want to establish cooperation as easily as possible to encourage common projects and to support joint meetings.
Combined meetings seem to be the key to fruitful partnerships between us and other scientific societies. To this end, we had an annual meeting together with the Royal College of Orthopaedic Surgeons of Thailand (RCOST) in 2009 and the Swedish Orthopaedic Society (SOF) in 2010. An annual meeting is being planned and organised with the Brazilian Orthopaedic Society (SBOT) in 2014.
The SICOT Officers regularly attend the annual meetings of selected national societies and invite Presidents of national and subspecialty societies to SICOT meetings. These personal contacts seem to us an important step towards a lively and successful communication to begin the planning of common projects.
The partnership campaign, "Friendship Nations", honours specific nations at our annual meetings. The Officers of the National Society have a place of honour during the meetings. A number of privileges are arranged for them and for the participants of the selected Nation.
The 2009 Friendship Nation in Pattaya, Thailand, was India; the following Nation to be honoured at the Gothenburg Conference in 2010 was Japan; and for the meeting in 2011 in Prague, China and Russian-speaking countries accepted to become Friendship Nations of SICOT. SICOT welcomed the Pan Arab Orthopaedic Association (PAOA) as Friendship Society in 2012, and in 2013 APOA and SAARC member countries were the Friendship Nations. In 2014 and 2015, the Latin American Society of Orthopaedics & Traumatology (SLAOT) and Asia Pacific Orthopaedic Association (APOA) member countries were the Friendship Nations. In 2016 it is Italy's turn and in 2017 all African nations will be the Friendship Nations.
We hope that this continuous close communication will help all of us reach some of our common goals, for example, providing the best possible care to our patients, assuring a sound, continuing education during the entire professional life of a surgeon and increasing global awareness of and support for research programmes in the musculoskeletal field.