Introduction: The EFORT Autumn Travelling Fellowship 2016 took place in Otwock and Poznan, Poland, from 4th to 10th September. I had the privilege to be chosen by the Estonian Orthopaedic Society to represent Estonia. In this fellowship we had a total of 13 participants from various European countries: Austria, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, France, Greece, Croatia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Albania, Ireland and Italy.
Detailed description of the fellowship:
I arrived at the Warsaw Chopin Airport after a pleasant flight from Tallinn through Helsinki. As it was very nice and sunny day and I arrived quite early in the morning, I had time to take a traintrip instead of taxi to Otwock, which was located about 25 kilometers from the center of Warsaw. After a 2 kilometers walk from the train station to Z-Hotel, I took advantage of the benefits of our spa hotel. In the evening, me and other fellows had our first get together dinner in hotel restaurant. The next morning we took taxis to The Centre of Postgraduate Medical Education in A. Gruca memorial Hospital in Otwock.
We were greeted by professor Jaroslaw Czubak, who gave us brief summary of the hospital, the paediatric and adult orthopaedic department and their main activities. We had the opportunity within two days to get involved in morning ward rounds and after that scrub in or observe operations in two operating rooms. Prof.Czubac and his colleagues performed periacetabular osteotomies, Dega osteotomy, total hip replacement in DDH case, limb lengthening and deformity correction using Ilizarov frame and taylor spatial frame. Scientific lectures were also about different types on pelvic osteotomies, leg length discrepancy and joint arthroplasty in DDH cases.
In addition to the scientific program, in one evening we took transport to Warsaw and had a stroll through the old city and had a gastronomic experience of Polish food in national restaurant.
Our third day of fellowship started with 5 hours bus ride from Otwock to Poznan.
When we arrived at the Hotel Rzymski located in the centre of Poznan, we had a very warm welcome from Prof. Leszek Romanowsky and his resident Marta, who was our closest guide during our stay in Poznan. After quick refresment in hotel room, we had lunch in hotel restaurant with prof. Romanowsky and prof. Kruczynski, followed by lectures in hotel conference room concentrating on knee arthroplasty and periprosthetic fractures. In the evening, we were all invited to a garden party held outside city limits in prof.Romanowsky’s home. The atmosphere was very friendly and informal. We had wonderful time to get to know each other better, socialize and admire professors great collection of Polish bicycles and heritage cars.
On 8th of September, organized taxis took us from hotel to the Dega University Hospital. The hospital building was long time ago a monastery, which was adjusted to the needs of a hospital following heritage protection rules.
Our morning began with clinical conference and after that we had a chance to observe different operations in 4 operating rooms for example knee and hip arthroplasty, ACL reconstruction surgery and shoulder arthroscopy. After a coffee break, we had lectures about revision hip arthroplasty, biomechanical aspects of knee surgery and spine pathologies.
At the end of our busy second day in Poznan, dr. Lukasz Lapaj took us to a tour of The Old Town of Poznan. He gave us a thorough overview of Poznan history, urban legends and local traditions. This evening dinner with all professors, lecturers and local residents was organized in vein restaurant outside the city center.
On our third day in Poznan consisted of a variety of lectures, among these paediatric hip and spine pathology and limb alignment syndromes. Between lectures we had coffee breaks where we had a chance to discuss about the subject that we heard and exchange our own experience with the related topics. I must mention that all the time during the lectures and coffee breaks our hosts, members of Polish organizing committee, took really good care of us! We finished this wonderful day with nice dinner at the Old Town restaurant with most of the professors, lecturers and also hospital manager.
Our last day in EFORT Autumn Fellowship started early with lectures about revision knee and hip arthroplasty. Dr Markuszewski presented a really outstanding pelvic tumor case, where they used a custom made hemipelvis implant and hip joint endoprostheses with excellent postoperative results. After final remarks and farewell speech from prof. Romanowsky, we were given FESSH instructional course books as present and we started our train trip back to Warsaw Chopin Airport.
Looking over the days spend as a part of EFORT Travelling Fellowship Program it overwhelms me with beautiful memories. The Fellowship was well organized in terms of an interesting scientific program, possibility to observe operations and obtain very useful practical advice, as well as a pleasant social program. As for the 12 other fellows it was a great opportunity to meet with colleagues from all over Europe. The participants were all very interested in exchanging experiences and knowledge. Our group of travelling fellows became good friends by the end of the trip. EFORT Fellowship experience made me a better person and doctor with new information, new knowledge and new friend and colleagues!
I am sincerely thankful to ETOS, who nominated me, Polish Orthopaedic and Traumatologic Society, who organized this event and all the EFORT Officials who made this fellowship possible and finally to the fellows for making this week an unforgettable experience.
Orthopaedic Surgery Resident from Estonia