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SICOT e-Newsletter

Issue No. 64 - January 2014

Editorial by Kandiah Raveendran - First Vice President of SICOT

A Visit to the Oman SICOT Education Centre

On 18 November 2013, my wife and I landed at Muscat International Airport and were pleasantly surprised by Dr Mohammed Darwish who greeted us before immigration and helped us with the formalities.

Dr Darwish, whom we have known for many years, is the SICOT National Delegate for Oman. He is also the current President of the Oman Orthopaedic Society and the President of the Pan Arab Orthopaedic Association – a very busy man indeed. We were greatly honoured by this special welcome.

We were whisked to our hotel through the bustling streets of Muscat. The capital of the Sultanate of Oman is a modern but still ancient city. It is also a strategic port. Oman has a population of about 3 million people. The Omanis have a long historical and cultural heritage and the country has modernized itself in the last 30 years with impressive infrastructure and magnificent architectural iconic buildings like the Grand Mosque and the Royal Opera House.

The next day was the beginning of a busy two-day programme. Dr Mohamad Al Lami, Head of the Orthopaedic Department of Khoula Hospital, greeted me. Dr Al Lami and his department, together with Dr Darwish, have all been instrumental in mooting this SICOT Education Centre in Muscat and in obtaining the necessary approval and support from the Ministry of Health.

Dr Kandiah Raveendran with Dr Mohamad Al Lami

The day started with my lecture in the Main Auditorium on ‘Proximal Tibial Osteotomy for Varus Gonarthrosis – Indications and Patient Selection’. This was followed by a brief introduction about SICOT and the Education Centre’s vision and objectives.

I then toured Khoula Hospital, the National Trauma Centre that has 500 beds. The hospital is a referral centre for Orthopaedic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery and Burns including Rehabilitation. It is completely paperless and is fully equipped with the latest imaging and diagnostic tools.

After the obligatory tour of the Education Centre, Dr Al Lami took me to the office of the Director General of Khoula Hospital, Dr Ali Al Mashani, who has been very supportive of the SICOT Education Centre. I suggested that since Khoula Trauma Hospital has excellent facilities for patient care, teaching and research they should try to host fellows from other less developed countries.

Dr Al Lami and his department consultants and doctors then hosted my wife and I to a sumptuous lunch at one of the premier hotels in Muscat.

The next day started off with a talk by Dr Al Lami about the achievements and vision of the Orthopaedic Department of Khoula Hospital. There are nine consultants in the Department with specialists and residents in the subspecialities of joint replacement, spine surgery, complex fractures, sports medicine, oncology, paediatric orthopaedics and reconstructive surgery. They have very high standards and 86% of all trauma patients requiring surgery are operated on in the first 24 hours.

Later, one of the senior residents, Dr Reem Bahwan, updated us on the structure and training goals of the OMSB Orthopaedic Programme. The residency programme is relatively new and first started in 2011 with a five-year residency programme leading to a board examination.

Oman SICOT Education Centre Doctors

The Oman SICOT Education Centre under the dynamic leadership of Dr Al Lami has planned for a SICOT Trainees Meeting in 2014, a selection of fellows to be sent overseas and to receive fellows to be attached at Khoula. The SICOT Oman Education Centre has fulfilled its role and I am sure that it will grow to become a centre of excellence in the region.