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International Committee member William B. Stetson, MD, (center) conducts an educational program for Cuban orthopaedists.

AAOS Now

Published 9/1/2007

Wanted: Volunteers for Cuban mission

For the past five years, William B. Stetson, MD, a member of the AAOS International Committee and a sports medicine specialist, has traveled to Cuba to conduct education seminars and perform surgical demonstrations for local physicians. His mission is to build bridges with the Cuban orthopaedic community through a mutual love of orthopaedic surgery and arthroscopy.

Dr. Stetson is planning a visit in 2008 and is seeking volunteers to join the team. A typical program involves a stay in Cuba of 5 to 7 days; participants must pay their own travel and accommodation expenses. Donations of needed surgical equipment and supplies are also welcome. Connections are available through Miami for East Coast residents and through Cancun, Mexico, for those coming from the West Coast.

Since the program began, Dr. Stetson and his colleagues have seen marked improvements and progress in the type and quality of patient care provided in Havana and Ciego de Avila. A center for shoulder arthroscopy has been established with the help of the local chief of orthopaedics, Dr. Raunel Trochea.

“The current standard of learning and understanding about orthopaedics in Cuba is high, but the quality of medical equipment is poor,” said Dr. Stetson in a recent presentation to the International Committee. Cuba has approximately 250 to 300 orthopaedic surgeons.

“This country will not remain closed to us forever,” said Dr. Stetson. “Now is the time to plant the seeds of friendship and help our fellow surgeons improve the standard of patient care throughout the nation.”

Members interested in learning more about the planned 2008 program should contact Dr. Stetson directly at (818) 848-3030 or via e-mail at wstet96263@aol.com.