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SICOT e-Newsletter

Issue No. 45 - June 2012


17th SICOT Trainees' Meeting Report
Moscow, Russia - 14-16 May 2012

Bassel El-Osta
Member of the Young Surgeons Committee - London, United Kingdom

I am writing to you today about the great learning experience that I had during the 17th SICOT Trainees' Meeting in Moscow. First of all, I would like to highlight the tremendous effort and work done by Prof Nikolay Zagorodniy, SICOT National Delegate of Russia, and his team. The conference was held in the Congress Centre of the Moscow Government which is a great venue comprised of very comfortable and spacious halls with excellent media support.

There were around 200 attendees with different levels of training at the meeting. The attendees came from all over the world: Russia, Germany, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Belarus, Egypt, Syria, India, Switzerland, and many other countries. They shared their experiences at different levels and, therefore, there were no focus topics and only general orthopaedics topics, which is probably better for the trainee. Some of the talks were very interesting, such as plastic surgery following oncological surgeries, approaches for hip surgery practised in Europe, and hip fractures in patients below the age of 60 with evidence based medicine.

After speaking with a few trainees, I found that most of these young surgeons have a lack of confidence in publishing their research paper. They have a fear of international publications and there is also a language barrier. Other points mentioned included interest in travelling abroad to gain experience through fellowships, which at the moment are not greatly available to them (although the MONIKI Education Centre has recently been offered 3 fellowships per year by SICOT!). They are also interested in collaborating in research projects and publications with trainees in western countries. Therefore, I believe that more meetings like this one are needed to push these young surgeons forward.

Regarding the conference itself, it was very well organised. The programme was rich, intensive and ran very smoothly in day one and day two, although there was some lack of time-keeping in some sessions. All conference participants were very comfortable, welcomed by the organising committee, and well informed about their speaking turn.

The guest speakers and the VIP were well looked after, and there was a lot of respect all around. The guest lectures were of high standard, matching the SICOT triennial world congresses, and the guest speakers were very well known and respected around the world and we are sure that the audience enjoyed and benefited from their talks.

On the other hand, there were a few issues that could be improved in this meeting.

The Russian language was used a great deal during the meeting. It would have been more positive for the Russian trainees if English had been the only language used.

In future meetings, the abstract submission should be limited to young trainees so they will be encouraged to meet and bridge the world. There were several didactic lectures by senior professors, rather than research papers.

Having e-poster or paper poster presentations could have had a small positive impact on the trainees. We believe that we need to encourage them as much as possible and they are the main target.

The recommendation for the future is to get more junior surgeons on board. They should be more involved and trained on how to write an abstract and prepare for the meeting. To incentivate them to do high-calibre presentations, we should introduce prizes as well as present results.

Overall, the meeting was successful, and I cannot say anything different than to thank the organising committee for this huge effort and for this well organised meeting. It was very enjoyable and I am personally looking forward to more SICOT meetings in Russia.