In the late 1970's the SAOA discussed the need to recognise excellence amongst Orthopaedic registrars studying at South African Medical Universities. Under the strong influence of Prof Robbie Snowdonne, the notion of selecting the Country's top registrars and offering a mini fellowship to visit other teaching institutions in the country was formalised. It was agreed that selection would rotate amongst the Universities with the Head of Department selecting the Registrar of choice. Smith & Nephew agreed to sponsor the fellowship making it possible for fellows to significantly broaden their skills and knowledge.
The first fellow, Dr Daneel Heyns, was selected by Prof Roelie Grabe of Pretoria. The late Chris Terreblanche who played a leading role in establishing the annual Fellowship dinner was a recipient in 1982.
More than 80 members are now part of this select group of surgeons. While a few of our members have sadly passed away and some have emigrated, the Fellowship has grown from strength to strength and the highlight is the annual dinner where fellows reconnect and learn from each other during the educational session and case studies.
Undoubtedly this program has met all original expectations the SAOA tabled, and the prestige and quality of recipients has grown exponentially, with the fellowship producing many surgeons who have been extremely active in academic circles and profiled in private practice all over the world. Fellows have also made substantial contributions at SAOA Exco level. Indeed past presidents of the South African Orthopaedic Association who are members of this select fellowship include Prof Mthunzi Ngcelwane (Travelling Fellow 1987); Prof Theo le Roux, (Travelling Fellow 1993); and Dr Jan de Vos (Travelling Fellow 1991).
The 2014 Travelling Fellows are Dr Maritz Laubscher, Groote Schuur and Dr Alice Morule, Medunsa.
During their travels to orthopaedic units around the country they also gave talks on their research:
Dr Maritz Laubscher:
Dr Alice Morule
Institutions Visited University of Limpopo, Dr George Mukhari Hospital; University of the Witwatersrand, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital; Chris Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto; Livingstone Hospital Port Elizabeth; University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg Hospital; University of the Free State, National Hospital in Bloemfontein; Smith & Nephew Headquarters, Westville, Durban and attendance at the Annual Registrar's Conference, Pietermaritzburg.
"The travelling fellowship was a fantastic opportunity for both of us. By visiting all the unit's across the
country we met a lot of people, we saw wonderful work being done
and we learned that we all share the same challenges of a high trauma load, poor support from management, often suboptimal working conditions and slow anaesthetists...
But we are also blessed to be exposed to a wide variety of interesting pathology and to be able to learn from dedicated teachers in all our units."
"Thank you to the following people that made our trip possible: SAOA, in particular Lucia for all the travel arrangements, Our hosts across the country,
Our departments and colleagues for allowing us time off and our families for their continued support."
Alice and Maritz
Mike Woods, Senior Director Orthopaedic Trauma and ASD State Sector, Smith & Nephew, Africa Region said:
"It is very satisfying to reflect on the calibre and achievements of the Orthopaedic Travelling Fellows. Smith & Nephew has the privilege of facilitating training which is geared to meet skill gaps in the industry, build expertise and help healthcare professionals to use our products safely and effectively.
"This is more than just about financial results. It is also about our commitment to ethical and responsible behaviour in everything that we seek to deliver. It is who we are and how we behave in meeting our responsibilities to people, society and the environment and the expectations of our stakeholders. We have leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine and Trauma and we believe we should also lead in education. This is why every year we provide training and education to thousands of healthcare professionals - surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, registrars and community healthcare staff."
PFRG De Muelenaere
JF de Beer
AA van Zyl (Bfn)
M de Graad
LT de Jager
JN de Vos
TLB le Roux
AA van Zyl (CT)
MJ van der Westhuizen
JP du Toit
P van Sittert
R von Bormann
D vd Spuy
W van Graan