TSOT members showed their AAOS guests Perge, a 4th century Greek and Roman ruin.
Courtesy of Gloria Alvarez Guevara


Published 7/1/2008
Annie Hayashi

Orthopaedics: The tie that binds

AAOS cosponsors first joint meeting in Turkey

Medicine, like music and art, transcends geographic borders. The dedication of doctors to their patients serves as a universal language and a bridge between different ethnicities.

When four AAOS members—Daniel J. Berry, MD; Michael R. Baumgaertner, MD; Kristy L. Weber, MD; and Stuart L. Weinstein, MD—travelled to Turkey, they found their international colleagues shared their zeal for orthopaedic knowledge and excellence.

“The passion that the Turkish orthopaedic surgeons bring to difficult problems is the same as you would find with our surgeons. Their approach to patients is very similar to ours, and they have a very high quality of orthopaedic care,” said Dr. Weinstein.

Bringing the AAOS experience to Turkey
The four fellows were part of the first-ever jointly sponsored meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Turkish Society of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology (TSOT), held recently in Antalya, Turkey, a provincial capital on the Mediterranean Sea.

Because only a small percentage of Turkish orthopaedic surgeons are able to attend the AAOS Annual Meeting, one of the TSOT’s objectives was to “provide Turkish doctors with an experience similar to that meeting, to get a feel for what it is like,” said Erdal Cila, MD, general secretary of the TSOT. “I have received very positive feedback from our surgeons about all aspects of this program.”

“All of the sessions were very well attended and the doctors were fully engaged—asking excellent questions and participating in discussions,” said Dr. Weber. “The TSOT provided outstanding simultaneous translation so all of the discussions flowed seamlessly.”

Learning through common problems
The AAOS faculty provided instructional course lectures (ICLs) on trauma (“Complex intra/subtrochanteric fractures: Avoiding complications,” led by Dr. Baumgaertner), tumor (“Surgical management of metastatic bone disease,” led by Dr. Weber), arthroplasty (“Revision total hip arthroplasty,” with Dr. Berry), and pediatrics (“Back pain in children” by Dr. Weinstein).

Case presentations were made by both AAOS and TSOT faculty. “Each of us participated in these exciting, interactive sessions,” said Dr. Weinstein. “The panel of experts had lively discussions about various treatment options. It made us all realize how much we have in common. We share the same difficult problems in deciding what is best for our patients.”

AAOS faculty also participated with their TSOT colleagues in symposia related to their subspecialties. Topics ranged from “Manage­ment of periprosthetic fracture after total knee replacement” to “Tibial pilon fracture: Definitive management with plates.”

High quality care in a public hospital
The TSOT faculty gave their American guests a tour of a public hospital and took them on “mini-rounds.” They saw a patient with a destructive giant cell tumor around the knee—resected and reconstructed with a metal prosthesis; a child with Larsen syndrome with a bilateral hip dislocation, bilateral knee dislocation and bilateral pes equinovarus.

TSOT members showed their AAOS guests Perge, a 4th century Greek and Roman ruin.
Courtesy of Gloria Alvarez Guevara
(from left) Daniel J. Berry, MD (AAOS faculty), Erdal Cila, MD (TSOT general secretary), Büllent Atilla, MD (TSOT treasurer), Büllent Alparslan, MD (TSOT president), Stuart L. Weinstein, MD (AAOS faculty), Kristy L. Weber, MD (AAOS faculty), Michael R. Baumgaertner, MD (AAOS faculty)
Courtesy of Gloria Alvarez Guevara
This is not the first time the Academy’s products have been translated for Turkish orthopaedists. From the 70 articles published annually in the Journal of the AAOS (JAAOS), five Turkish editions are compiled based on the needs of that audience. After AC.T Medical translates and publishes these volumes, they are distributed to 2,000 Turkish orthopaedic surgeons.

When asked by the AAOS faculty if the facility was “a typical public hospital,” Dr. Cila was a bit surprised by the question. “I told them this was average for our hospitals. It certainly wasn’t our top public hospital.”

“The hospital was quite different than many public hospitals in the United States,” said Dr. Weber.

“Their hospital was excellent.

It seemed to have the resources to provide high quality care,” said Dr. Weinstein. “I think that the volume of patients probably pushes the hospital to its limit.”

Giving back to their communities
Although medical care may be similar in the United States and Turkey, a major difference exists in medical education funding and the requirements faced by medical school graduates and those who pursue specialty training upon completion of their programs.

“More than 90 percent of higher education—including medical school—is free and sponsored by the government,” said Dr. Cila.

“Upon graduation from medical school, every doctor must donate 2 years to the government; an additional 2 years of service is required after completing specialty studies,” he said. “If you do not complete your government service, you do not receive your medical license.”

Dr. Weber was impressed by this requirement. “Many doctors are sent to eastern Turkey, which is not as populated. With physicians giving back to their country, the underserved get very good basic and more advanced medical care.”

Annie Hayashi is the senior science writer for AAOS Now. She can be reached at hayashi@aaos.org

AAOS speaks Turkish
Orthopaedic surgeons in Turkey will soon be able to take the AAOS on-line “Orthopaedic Self-Interest Exams” in several subspecialty areas. Over the next three years, Advanced Reconstruction of the Hip and Knee, Pediatric Orthopaedics, and Sports Medicine will be translated and put online by AC.T Medical, a medical education company in Istanbul.

A number of Academy patient education booklets and brochures have been translated and distributed by Turk Ortopedi ve Travmatoloji Birligi Dernegi (Turkish Orthopaedic and Traumatology Association). Topics include “Shoulder surgery rotator cuff impingement,” “Bunion surgery,” “Total joint replacement,” and “Low back pain.”