thought-Provoking orthoPaeDic session
The Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery Session at Charter Day proved
to be a popular and well-attended session, Mr Tom McCarthy and
Mr Niall Hogan Orthopaedic Surgeons at St James's Hospital report.
The debate format, for and against current topics, allowed heated but
good-hearted discussion between orthopaedic colleagues.
According to Mr McCarthy: "The morning kicked off with Mr Ian
Kelly, Orthopaedic Surgeon putting forward a very strong argument
for ankle arthrodesis. Then Mr Stephen Kearns, Orthopaedic
Surgeon, HSE West, replied, extolling the merits of ankle arthroplasty.
This was followed by a discussion on the healthcare costs involved in
total hip replacement.
"Mr Denis Collins outlined his views and stated that the cheapest hip
implant is not always the best option, while Professor Kevin Mulhall
highlighted the importance of theatre efficiency in order to drive
down costs. Hip replacement surgery, however, still remains one of
the most cost-effective surgical procedures across all disciplines. Mr
Paul O'Grady and Mr James Harty then combined to provide plenty
of humour and entertainment while discussing the current role of
long bone nailing with the referee declaring that particular contest a
He continued: "After a short break, Ms Paula Kelly and Mr Pat Kiely
outlined the hopes and vision for the practice of orthopaedics in a
new national paediatric hospital. All present were in agreement that
this proposed state-of-the-art hospital comprising a new paediatric
orthopaedic department is long overdue.
The final session was a very stark and relevant discussion on the state
of orthopaedic training and the current consultant contract on offer
to new consultants. Mr Connor Green gave a very comprehensive
trainee's perspective and gave us all encouragement that young doctors
still believe that orthopaedic surgery is a very worthwhile and desirable
"Mr Keith Synnott, followed on by outlining a new, streamlined vision
for surgical and orthopaedic training. It is hoped that this would allow
doctors progress from intern to consultant within eight years. The
session concluded with the most poignant talk of the morning from Mr
Michael Donnelly outlining the harsh reality facing new consultants.
Mr Donnelly left none of the audience unclear about the difficulties
that currently exist for new consultants with regard to restrictions in
work practice, surgical de-skilling, training and fellowship expenses
incurred, ever-decreasing remuneration, diminishing morale among
staff and inefficiencies within the public health service."
In spite of this sombre close to the orthopaedic section, Mr McCarthy
said it was generally felt that this was a very productive and educational
session and thanks are due to all speakers, chairpersons and
Professor Ralph dacey (left) and Professor Michael Solomon (right) were conferred with Honorary Fellowships of RCSi at Charter day.
they are pictured here with Professor Patrick Broe (centre), RCSi President.