Page 45 - ISAKOS 2019 Newsletter Vol II
P. 45

2017 – 2019
Sheanna Maine, MD
Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Mauro Núñez, MD
Hospital del Trauma Cartago, COSTA RICA
Regardless of our background, place of training, or experience, we all have a common goal: to provide our patients with the best care in terms of diagnostic certainty and timely and adequate treatment in order to improve their quality of life. Fellowship programs support this goal by allowing participants to seek expertise in a specific area within our specialty. These programs have shown their value by significantly shortening the learning curve for participants. While this is certainly true for established academic fellowship programs, which usually last for a period of one year, we did not know exactly what to expect from a Traveling Fellowship in terms of its similarities to, and differences from, more traditional academic programs.
Patellofemoral Traveling Fellowship, 2017–2019
Our itinerary for the Patellofemoral Traveling Fellowship (PFTF) covered 2 continents, 3 countries, and 5 centers, all of which were visited over a period of 4 weeks.
We started with a week-long visit to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where we met with Dr. Elizabeth Arendt, followed by a flight to John Hopkins in Baltimore, where we met with Drs. Andrew Cosgarea and Miho Tanaka. Later that same week, we traveled to our second country, Canada– specifically, to Banff–where we visited Dr. Laurie Hiemstra. Upon our return to the U.S., we spent a week at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, where we were hosted by Drs. Beth Shubin-Stein, Sabrina Strickland, and Daniel Green. A few months later, we started our journey to Asia–specifically, to Kobe, Japan–where we visited Dr. Ryosuke Kuroda.
The opportunity to pause and mull over these learning opportunities gave us much to think about and raised many more questions for us to ask. Ultimately, our perspective on the patellofemoral joint has been considerably broadened by our experience. While we still do not know all the answers, we now have the benefit of many different views that we can draw upon to inform our philosophy on the management of the patellofemoral joint and its associated pathologies.
We believe that the PFTF is a unique experience from an academic point of view and is an exceptional networking resource for any surgeon who wishes to enter this exciting field.
Perhaps part of the success of this program lies in its rigorous selection process, which focuses on candidates with intermediate or even advanced experience, a proven academic background, and a demonstrated interest in the area.
Another advantage of this program is its flexibility, with the selected fellows having the ability to coordinate dates, places, and potential hosts to visit, allowing them to build an experience tailored to their academic needs and interests.
Although a fixed amount of money is provided by the Patellofemoral Foundation, it is common for fellows to incur expenses somewhat higher than the maximum amount granted in order to maximize their own experience.
ISAKOS 2019, Cancun, Mexico
During the biennial conference recently held in Cancun, Mexico, we closed our PFTF with a presentation highlighting the most relevant academic and social moments of this experience. The main purpose of this presentation was to pay a well-deserved tribute to the various hosts involved in the PFTF, both for their willingness to impart their knowledge on the most relevant concepts in the patellofemoral field as well as for the warm hospitality that they demonstrated at all times.
The academic component of the fellowship was not didactic and did not involve a set of approved learning objectives. Instead, our hosts gathered various clinical cases in order to demonstrate how to extract the most relevant information for clinical decision-making. They openly shared not only their successful cases but also their experience with complications and how they dealt with them. We were able to observe both immediate and long-term follow-up results, helping us to form our personal decision-making algorithms in record time.
The PFTF also gave us the opportunity to be involved with the Patellofemoral Study Group (PFSG), which is dedicated to the clinical investigation of patellofemoral abnormalities in search of improved treatment options.
In conclusion, the PFTF constituted a unique academic, networking, and cultural opportunity. Our genuine interest in deepening our understanding of patellofemoral pathology was mirrored by our hosts, who inspired us to continue investigating this topic while appreciating the diversity of management strategies in our current surgical sphere.

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