2012-2013 ISOC Travelling Fellowship

Dr. Aldo Izaguirre, an accomplished orthopedic surgeon and researcher in Mexico, applied for a travelling fellowship program to broaden his horizons. His impressive credentials earned him an ISOC international fellowship. Each year, ISOC, the International Society of Orthopaedic Centers, selects a physician to complete a six-month travelling fellowship.

The fellowship is designed to provide a highly qualified post-residency orthopedic surgeon exceptional training in the management and treatment of orthopedic conditions at three leading orthopedic centers. The Fellow also works on a research project of both personal interest and of benefit to the ISOC member centers.

“By working in hospitals in different countries, the Fellow can experience first-hand different health care systems and cultures, and how this impacts patient care and outcomes,” explained Thomas Sculco, M.D., surgeon-in-chief, who founded ISOC in 2006. “In terms of his research project, Dr. Izaguirre’s ambitious study seeks to shed light on the pattern of expression of different biomarkers of osteoarthritis in patients in the preoperative phase of ACL/meniscus surgery.”

Dr. Izaguirre, who treats patients and conducts research at the Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitación in Mexico City, began his fellowship in Belgium at University Hospitals Leuven, then moved on to Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli in Bologna, Italy. He concluded his fellowship with a two month stay at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. “Hospital for Special Surgery is leading the world in orthopedic surgery research, and it’s an amazing place. Everyone here is very professional, committed to hard work, highly experienced and open to expanding their knowledge,” said Dr. Izaguirre, who came to New York with his wife, also an orthopedic surgeon.

Dr. Izaguirre, who is 33 years old, specializes in joint replacement and sports medicine. He’s from Tampico, a small town on the Gulf of Mexico, where his father is also an orthopedic surgeon. As many people in the town are of limited means and have no insurance, it’s not uncommon for them to give his father home-cooked meals in return for their care.

“There are many cultural differences, including the way research is conducted and the way we treat patients,” said Dr. Izaguirre. “The fellowship addresses philosophical questions and encourages us to keep an open mind.”

“We started the program last year and are hoping the research the Fellows conduct will ultimately benefit everyone, while enhancing their own professional development,” said  Mathias Bostrom, M.D., chair of the ISOC Travelling Fellowship Program.

Dr. Izaguirre has mainly with Dr. Bellemans at University Hospitals Leuven, Drs. Giannini, Zaffagnini and Bruni at Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, and Drs. Sculco, Bostrom, Robert Marx and Riley Williams at Hospital for Special Surgery.

ISOC was founded to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices among the premier orthopedic institutions in the world. The Society’s members, who come from 17 centers in 14 countries that span six continents, collaborate on patient care, education and research to gain improvements in orthopedic care on a global scale. The travelling fellowship program is one more way to advance the field, according to Dr. Sculco.

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HSS Welcomes the First ISOC Travelling Fellow

Over the past year the Education Committee has been involved with selecting a candidate for the 2011 flagship ISOC Travelling Fellowship Program. The committee received eight applications from orthopedic surgeon in Chile , India , Italy , Switzerland , Thailand and The United States. After review and consideration by the committee Saseendar Shanmugasundaram, M.D., was chosen to be the first ISOC Travelling Fellow.

ISOC Fellow Saseendar Shanmugasundaram, MD with Mathias Bostrom, MD at Hospital for Special Surgery

Dr. Saseendar, 26, from Puducherry, India, where he is currently a trauma fellow and junior consultant in the Department of Orthopaedics at Medical Trust Hospital in Kerala, India. His fellowship will focus mainly on hip arthroplasty with his research focused on the following topics: outcome of THA revision with uncemented femoral component/different approaches to femoral revisions; and perioperative testing for joint infection in patients undergoing revision total hip arthroplasty.

An objective of this International Program is to allow the Fellow to examine differing approaches to like procedures at each of the three centers visited. In this case, Dr. Saseendar will begin his Fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York in October under the supervision Mathias Bostrom, M.D., program director, Orthopedic Surgery Resident Program.

In December, Dr. Saseendar will move on to Schulthess Klinik in Zurich , followed in April at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital . The Fellowship will include research, the observation of surgeries, and patient visits. After fellowship Dr. Saseendar will prepare a research manuscript for the HSS Journal, as well as present his findings at the 2013 ISOC meeting in Hamburg , Germany.

“We hope that this will be the beginning of a successful program that will provide opportunities for International Fellows to conduct progressive research that will benefit all of us while the Fellow also enhances his own professional development,” said Dr. Bostrom.