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SICOT e-Newsletter

Issue No. 59 - August 2013

Fellowship News

Report of the "SICOT meets SICOT" Fellowship in Székesfehérvár, Hungary

Boney M. Rajan
SICOT Associate Member - Kerala, India

The email from SICOT officials, Prof Jochen Eulert and Dr Hatem Said, confirming my fellowship approval in January 2013, at the St. George County Hospital for Musculoskeletal Disorders and Trauma, Székesfehérvár, Hungary, found me in extreme surprise and joy. Further correspondence with my chief, Prof Laszlo Bucsi, who was in charge of my training, made my Hungarian experience pleasant, homely and memorable; one to be cherished forever in the pages of my life.

It was on 6 July that I was received at the Budapest Airport by the driver of the St. George Hospital and driven to my Chief Supervisor, Laszlo Bucsi, Head of the Department of Orthopaedics & Trauma, who later introduced me to his dedicated team and staff. After having been introduced to my work schedule and routine for the next couple of weeks of my fellowship, I was able to rest before the very resourceful days ahead. Since my fields of interest are mainly arthroplasty and sports surgery, my OR schedule was adapted so I could be involved more in these procedures. The day used to begin with the daily conference, case discussions, etc., followed by the division of activities. From the very first day, I was scrubbed in as 1st assistant in a primary total hip arthroplasty, had enriching discussions with my colleagues, and by the end of the day went through my observations at the chief's cabin; and I had plenty of literature review from recent publications and journals in the library.

With Dr Geza and his sports surgery team

The surgeries I took part in varied from primary hip and knee arthroplasties to revision reconstructions and arthroscopic multi-ligament repair in knee to shoulder instabilities. Moreover, the pre-operative evaluation, planning of the procedure, discussion of pros and cons allowed a fellow to be prepared and learn for the upcoming days’ surgery. Though the procedures were not alienating for me coming from a different continent, the versatility of doing familiar surgeries using different approaches opened blocks in my mind which otherwise I would have stumbled on, when facing them back home alone. The tips and tricks of the trade that I was acquiring while I scrubbed in on all days especially widened my thought process. Eventually, I performed a primary total hip arthroplasty under the supervision of Drs Bucsi and Dobos. Drs Geza, Ignaz, Gabor, Erno, Atilla, Horvath, Schandl also played a pivotal role in my training in the OR procedures, articles and journals, and so on. Dr Mester Sandors, Head of the Trauma Department, was instrumental in involving me with the pelvic and acetabular fracture fixation techniques.

Dr Bucsi flanked by Drs Ignaz, Dobos, Geza and Atilla, the head nurse and physiotherapists

My colleagues never missed an opportunity to show me around calm and peaceful Székesfehérvár, the historic residence of the first kings of Hungary. I also had a memorable wine tasting tour with the young residents in the countryside and a picnic by the scenic lake Balaton and Veszprem with senior colleagues and their families. The capital city, Budapest, is a popular tourist destination of Europe, and I enjoyed a boat trip on the Danube river with its beautiful banks, home to famous landmarks such as the Hungarian Parliament.

With Profs Laszlo Bucsi and Laszlo Hangody at the EFORT Forum, Budapest

I was fortunate enough to attend the Joint Congress of the Hungarian Orthopaedic Association and the Hungarian Trauma Society, along with the EFORT Forum in Budapest from 27 to 29 June. The topic of the Forum was "Periprosthetic Fractures around Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement", where there was an opportunity to exchange ideas and views with eminent surgeons of the region. There were numerous presentations and seminars on many interesting subjects related to contemporary practice. I was also fortunate to meet Prof Laszlo Hangody, organizer of the congress, whose name is very synonymous with the Mosaic chondroplasty technique.

Finally, I had the honour of being a guest at Dr Bucsi's residence for his name day, which was a perfect way to end a great training programme that I had embarked on several weeks before. It ended in a flash and I have to admit I left Székesfehérvár with a heavy heart. I must mention the help received from the nursing staff, physiotherapists and hostel wardens. They looked after me and made sure I was comfortable on a daily basis. My heartfelt gratitude goes to this noble organisation, SICOT, and its Head Office without whom a young surgeon would have difficulties acquiring so much experience and training. Thank you.