The Interventional Orthopedics Foundation (IOF) is holding a stem cell course today for qualified physicians on how to harvest cells via bone marrow aspiration and lipo-suction. The course will be located at the IOF headquarters in Colorado. The hands-on portion will use the Centeno-Schultz Clinic (CSC) procedure suites with CSC physicians teaching the course.
All too often, the “how to” of cell harvest is left for a single station as part of a weekend stem cell course, basically an afterthought. This is a shame, as the least common denominator of the entire procedure is how the stem cells are procured. As a result, we’ve seen physicians claiming to know how to perform stem cell injection procedures who make many errors in the harvest procedure that impacts stem cell yield and health. Most of this is due to poor education and misinformation on the topic.
The IOF is dedicated to helping physicians get educated in advanced interventional orthopedics procedures. So rather than an hour in a weekend stem cell course spent on harvest, we’re devoting a whole day. This will begin with a comprehensive didactic lecture, move onto a patient demonstration, and then end with a hands-on cadaver course. The goal is to ensure that everyone leaves the course with a deep understanding of how to obtain the most and healthiest stem cells possible.
While the course is agnostic to how cells are processed, leaving that up to the physician, the IOF will soon be holding similar intensive skills courses on advanced interventional orthopedics techniques by body area (one each for knee, hip, shoulder, foot/ankle, elbow, and hand/wrist, lumbar, thoracic, and cervical). Again, this will mark a big departure from the wild west weekend stem cell courses out there, who teach a physician one simple knee injection while the IOF skill set will require knowledge of 12 different advanced procedures in the knee alone.
Another key difference for this course is that IOF is a non-profit. As a result, it has sponsored several young physicians (residents and fellows) to take this course. These doctors would normally never be exposed to this type of medicine in their training programs nor could they usually afford this educational experience. However, since the goal is not profit, IOF can begin to educate the next generation of physicians. How popular are these IOF courses with young doctors? Our scholarships sell out within minutes of sending out email notifications.
Yet another differentiator for this course is that it allows physicians to enter the IOF registry. This involves proprietary software and a small army of skilled workers who track patient outcomes and complications after a stem cell procedure at 1, 3, 6 months and annually. This is the world’s largest and oldest active registry in orthopedic stem cell use with over 7,000 patients being tracked.
The upshot? The IOF is dedicated to upping standards in regenerative medicine. We’re moving physicians from the wild west of stem cells to a much higher educational and patient tracking standard. If you missed this stem cell course, the IOF web-site has an e-mail form to stay notified of future advanced educational experiences.