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SICOT e-Newsletter

Issue No. 53 - February 2013

Fellowship News

Report on the 2012 NUH/SICOT Trauma Fellowship Award

Mohammad Farooq Butt
SICOT Associate Member - Jammu Tawi, India

I had the honour of being awarded the 2012 NUH/SICOT Trauma Fellowship Award which gave me the opportunity to visit the National University Hospital, Singapore. I was delighted to receive the communication in this regard from Ms Linda Ridefjord. I thank her for her help and support.

I deeply thank SICOT for this wonderful experience and for giving me the opportunity to meet lively people who were so willing to teach and share their knowledge.

Singapore consists of 63 islands including the main island, which is a beautiful, highly urbanized ‘Garden City’ of South East Asia. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations and more than 10 million tourists visit this small island each year.

The National University Hospital (NUH), a member of the National University Health System (NUHS), is a modern tertiary care hospital, clinical training and research centre with all the latest resources and equipment for clinical and surgical practices. NUH was conferred the Joint Commission International Accreditation (JCI) in August 2004.

I reached Singapore on 19 May 2012 and was received at the Changi airport by Agent Sue, who drove me to Clementi, where a great arrangement had been made for my accommodation. On 20 May, I met Dr Diarmuid Murphy, an unassuming gentleman with a charming smile always on his face. He introduced me to my new colleagues, showed me around the hospital and informed me about almost everything that I would need there. The very next day, I was given the opportunity to scrub up in the surgeries.

I attended the orthopaedic trauma grand rounds on Tuesdays, which were of a high standard and certainly increased my interest in research and academics. This involved a thorough discussion on cases admitted with the division, preoperative planning as well as the audit of cases operated in the previous week.


With Dr Vinod, Dr Yu Han Chee, and Dr Diarmuid Murphy


With Dr Hitendra Doshi, SICOT National Delegate

I was able to attend the outpatient clinics with Dr Murphy where I had the opportunity to learn many useful pearls on outpatient management. Prof Joseph Thambiah was generous enough to let me disturb him in his busy spine clinic, and I learned many invaluable tips from him.

I was able to spend most of my time in operating rooms, scrubbing for different surgeries. I worked with Dr Murphy whenever he was operating and was able to learn many new techniques of fracture fixation, bone grafting techniques, and the application and use of the latest instruments and implants. Dr Yu Han Chee was an excellent surgeon to work with. He is a civilized scientist, clever surgeon, meticulous in his approach and always keen to teach each step in the surgical procedure. I also had the opportunity to learn from Drs Chee, Fareed and Murphy about the Taylor Spatial Frame application in post-traumatic deformity.

My experience with pelvi-acetabular fracture fixation was exciting. I benefitted a lot from the awesome surgical skills of Prof Kong. He has mastered the technique of application of spring plate and braided cables in acetabular fractures.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to scrub up frequently with Prof Thambiah, senior spine surgeon, who is excellent in decision-making, a reputed surgeon, and a great teacher. I had the privilege to assist him in a variety of minimally invasive spinal operations. I also benefitted greatly from the knowledge and surgical skills of Dr Vinod, senior registrar.

I was also able to attend the teaching rounds of the Division of Spine, supervised by Prof Wong Hee Kit and gained a great deal from the high-quality discussions on various spinal trauma cases.

I would like to thank all the staff members of the NUH Division of Trauma for their support during my fellowship and I would especially like to mention Drs Jonathan, Yaser, and Pang Huan. I will always remember the grand hospitality of Prof Thambiah and Dr Murphy’s team throughout the period of my fellowship, and Dr Chee for the sumptuous dinner he invited me to along with his family. I would also like to thank Ms Chua Li Ping, the fellowship coordinator at the NUH, who was of great assistance to me from the very beginning, from paperwork, air tickets to accommodation.

I am grateful to Dr Hitendra K. Doshi, SICOT National Delegate of Singapore, from Tan Tock Seng Hospital, for his guidance and support during the entire duration of my fellowship. He took some time out of his busy schedule and arranged a meeting. We discussed the importance of fellowship programmes to enhance the outlook of the surgeon. It was heartening to learn that he has established another SICOT fellowship award for young surgeons, making Singapore a popular fellowship centre in the region.

Finally, I would like to appreciate the great opportunity provided to me by SICOT. This experience would not have been possible without its support. This is a great learning opportunity for any young orthopaedic surgeon and I would strongly recommend it to anyone desirous of honing his or her skills in orthopaedic trauma management.

Last but not least, my special thanks go to my teachers and friends at the Hospital for Bone & Joint Surgery in Barzallah, Srinagar, Kashmir, where I trained, learned orthopaedics and spent the best years of my life. To them I owe my heartfelt gratitude and to them I dedicate this academic endeavour.


Drs Diarmuid Murphy, Joseph Thambiah, Farooq Butt, Fareed Kagda, Yu Han Chee, Wu Pang Hong, Jonathan Tan, Khor Yuet Peng