Report 2

Trauma and orthopaedics in Wales: Inspiring the next generation of surgeons

Medical students and junior doctors are under ever-increasing pressure to decide their preferred career path early on during their training. With expanding undergraduate curricula and exponential advances in medical knowledge to match, students rarely have sufficient clinical experiences to help them decide which specialty suits their interests and personality the most. This is especially true for surgical disciplines which are underrepresented in undergraduate curricula. WelshBone is a society founded by registrars in Wales with a passion for teaching to promote T&O as a specialty and encourage junior doctors and medical students to become involved in interactive events and research in Wales.

On 14th May 2016 at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, WelshBone held its third annual South Wales Orthopaedic and Trauma Showcase (SWOTS) with the support of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and other industry sponsors. The SWOTS has been growing in size from year to year and with the support of the Royal College of Edinburgh once more the day was another resounding success. Aimed at junior doctors and medical students, there were a wide range of talks and practical workshops aimed to raise the profile of the specialty and inspire delegates to follow a career in T&O. There was also an oral and poster competition showcasing delegates’ achievements in T&O audit, service evaluation and research over the past year. Delegates attended from all years of medical school through to core surgical trainees, a reflection of how the day’s programme was designed to cater for all.

“Really enjoyable day, very useful in helping plan towards various careers”

The SWOTS 2016 was opened by WelshBone President and Founder Paul Lee, a higher specialist trainee in Wales. With an interest in education, Paul has previously established MedTaste ( which runs events promoting medicine as a career for local school students in South Wales. Paul also later delivered a lecture on T&O research in Wales an how the South Wales Orthopaedic Research Network (SWORN) provides an ideal way for students and juniors to become involved in research projects with support of experienced supervisors. Mr Sanjeev Agarwal, specialist lower limb arthroplasty surgeon in Cardiff, gave a talk on ‘Latest and Greatest’ advances in arthroplasty surgery and explained some of the tricky biomechanical principles that influence a surgeon’s operative planning. Mrs Judith Murray, past President of the Welsh Orthopaedic Society, spoke on soft tissue diseases of the knee and synovial plica syndrome, a topic rarely taught at undergraduate level. The importance of leadership skills and effective teamwork was elaborated on in an interactive session by Mr Hiro Tanaka, who is a local driving force in Aneurin Bevan UHB for engaging clinical leaders in quality improvement. Mrs Clare Carpenter discussed her role as a specialist paediatric T&O surgeon and how principles of basic science and developmental biology affect the management of children differently to that of adults. The closing talk of the day was given by specialist registrar Mr Nazeer Moideen who taught delegates the ins and outs of the major T&O emergencies.

“Great insight into this specialty”           “Appropriate for different levels of knowledge”

Throughout the day there were interactive workshops interspersed between keynote speakers. The popular cemented hemiarthroplasty workshop, sponsored by Heraeus, allowed delegates the opportunity to get hands on with the tools used in practice and promoted an apreciation of the principles of cemented arthroplasty (as well as being great fun!). Stryker sponsored an enjoyable session where delegates learnt about external fixation of the wrist and fingers and put to use real K-wires to fix fractures in saw bone models. Following our knee, hip and spine workshop last year, the brachial plexus was this year’s clinical examination workshop; delegates covered the anatomy of the brachial plexus and how they can assess multi-level pathology in practice. In keeping with WelshBone’s aim to promote T&O and help delegates progress in the specialty, there was a research and career planning workshop which was very well received.

“Was a great day…will be back next year”

Throughout the day speakers were available to provide invaluable advice to delegates planning their careers in surgery or T&O. The research oral and poster presentations displayed some of the fantastic T&O research that delegates had undertaken in Wales and was an opportunity for them to present at a friendly event amongst like-minded individuals. Congratulations to the following winners of the SWOTS 2016 prizes; we hope that they return to showcase how their research progresses over the coming months and years:

Clinical Study 1st Prize: Kate Thomas & Hallam Amos – Is there a role for shoulder ultrasound in primary care?

Bioscience 1st Prize: James Brock – The role of LIPUS (Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound) in articular cartilage repair: An in vitro bovine model.

Biomechanics 1st Prize: Jeettender Preehal – Creep effect on backside of polyethylene liners: A comparison between highly cross-linked and conventional ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene liners.

Overall the day was a great success once more and WelshBone aims to build on the feedback obtained this year and before to put on an even more exciting and enjoyable event next year. Finally, many thanks to the speakers, faculty, student volunteers and sponsors who contributed to the event, without whom the SWOTS 2016 would not have been possible.


Rob Whitham

WelshBone Foundation Trainee Representative


© WelshBone 2017