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SICOT e-Newsletter

Issue No. 42 - March 2012

Training & Education

Report of the SICOT Training Fellowship at Assiut University Hospital

Mike Pelino Pembele Makiese
SICOT Associate Member - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
 

Introduction

It has been an honour for me to be the first Congolese training fellow chosen for and granted the SICOT/Assiut University Training Fellowship. Despite the fact that it was during the time of the Egyptian revolution, I did not hesitate to attend the training course in March 2011 to complete it in September 2011.

First of all, it seems appropriate to begin this report by thanking those who taught me a great deal and those who had the kindness to make this training course one of my most memorable moments. I am grateful to Prof Dr Galal Zaki Said for the useful and valuable training opportunity he provides to orthopaedic surgeons from Africa through the SICOT fellowship programme, and I thank the International Society of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology (SICOT), the motor of this programme. 


Prof Dr Galal Zaki said and Dr Mike Pembele

My grateful appreciation and great respect go to the chairman and staff members of the orthopaedic surgery department for their cooperation and kindness.

I am so grateful that I have been able to achieve successfully this training course and to benefit from all the conditions, such as free full accommodation, USD 100 per month for expenses, and a round trip economy class air ticket. Thus in order to give a faithful and analytical account of the six months spent at the orthopaedic surgery department, it appears logical to present the clinical environment and the conditions of the training course through some advantages, weaknesses, and recommendations.
   

Advantages of this training fellowship

The choice of Assiut University Hospital as a training programme centre was very good for the following reasons: Assiut University Hospital is the biggest hospital located in the university campus and serves millions of people with a high number of patients visiting the outpatient clinics and the emergency department daily, which makes it a very good centre for training.

This is especially true for its orthopaedics and traumatology department, which provides a comprehensive exposure to orthopaedic surgery in an integrated training programme with a high volume, diverse spectrum of acute trauma, post traumatic reconstruction, sport medicine injuries, hand reconstruction, and so on, which gave us the opportunity to assist in the conservative and operative management of many cases.

Personally I think now more than before that the training programme is able to identify the problems in orthopaedic management, outlining logically the different possibilities of solving them and deciding which option leads to the best outcome for the patients.


After a medical conference

Weaknesses

  • Guidance and supervision

Can I say that I have accomplished my purpose? Yes, I hope so, or at least partially. Why? Because the main goal has been to develop some skills according to some orthopaedic management cases and surgical techniques in the context of the health care system in which I should practice in my country upon returning home. I think such a programme should be under the supervision and guidance of permanent designated trainers who are known to the trainees, so that they can leave them to do some operations under the various conditions already listed. Secondly, the designated trainers should provide counselling and guidance on all aspects of the trainee’s fulfillment of the training objectives. This includes rostering of clinical work during the training period and ensuring that the rostered duties have been carried out.

  • Language

Even though the main spoken language in Egypt is Arabic, the academic discussions and conferences could be given in English to provide fellows from abroad with a better understanding.

  • Accommodation and Food

Considering the Assiut climate, especially during the summer when the weather is very hot, the accommodation should be provided with some air conditioners.

The training programme is open to fellows from different countries where the culture and diet are different from one another, so the food could be cooked according to this factor.


The Assiut orthopaedic surgery team

Recommendations

There are some recommendations necessary to improve further the training programme conditions:

  • A permanent designated trainer who is known to the trainees and provides guidance and supervision to them.
  • The use of English in all academic activities.
  • Review of some accommodation conditions and diet.
      

Conclusion

How useful have the last six months of training been, despite some factors to improve? I found joining this programme satisfactory and I hope it will continue especially for the benefit of African orthopaedic surgeons whose countries still have some difficulties in updating the management of orthopaedic surgery and traumatology. I hope to be a good interlocutor of this training programme everywhere and I thank SICOT again on behalf of all Congolese patients who might be helped through the positive experience I had in Assiut.