My major career goals in Orthopaedics have always been to subspecialise in musculoskeletal oncology, as well as hip and knee reconstructive surgery, especially with regard to revision hip and knee arthroplasty. To this end, I structured my AOA orthopaedic trainee terms to gain experience in these areas, as well as a fuller appreciation for lower limb/pelvic osteotomies by undertaking a paediatric orthopaedic rotation.
Over the last three years of my time as an Advanced Orthopaedic Trainee (1995-1997), I was fortunate enough to work for three orthopaedic surgeons in Sydney who performed some musculoskeletal oncological surgery. This stimulated my interest in this field. Further, I consider that any surgery in this field should be done by, not only interested surgeons, but by those with specific subspecialty training, which includes an appreciation for both the surgical and non-surgical aspects. In light of this, I have invested a significant period of time to increase my knowledge in the field of musculoskeletal oncology.
Following completion of my training and obtaining my Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1997, I travelled overseas to Toronto, Canada, to further my knowledge and experience of adult reconstructive surgery as well as orthopaedic musculoskeletal oncology by undertaking a clinical fellowship at the Mt. Sinai Hospital under the supervision of Professor Allan E. Gross and Dr. Robert S. Bell, which incorporated both interests.
Professor Allan Gross is a world-renowned authority in adult reconstructive surgery. He has published over 100 papers and numerous chapters in orthopaedic surgery texts in his interest areas of revision hip and knee arthroplasty (especially those requiring allograft augmentation), fresh osteochondral allograft transplantation, and osteotomies around the knee. Fresh osteochondral allografting is currently not commonplace in Australia, and it is my desire to institute this technique to my practice in conjunction with support from the State Bone Bank.
Dr. Robert S. Bell is the Director of the University Musculoskeletal Oncology Unit at the Mt. Sinai Hospital, as well as Head of Surgical Services at the Princess Margaret Hospital, which is the largest cancer centre in Canada. In conjunction with his colleague, Dr. Jay S. Wunder, I have been exposed to a large variety of musculoskeletal oncologic pathology and management. Both these surgeons have encouraged my research during my time in Toronto. With this affiliation to what is probably the busiest cancer centre in North America, I will be able to not only maintain a high standard of care for my patients, but also participate in international multicentre trials conducted through the maintenance of a combined patient database.