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Imagine being inside the ropes at the Masters, enjoying full access during the Stanley Cup Finals, or watching the World Cup with a field pass. Even better, imagine a legendary Hall of Famer acting as your personal guide. These images reflect the experiences of the 2014 AANA Advanced Arthroscopy Traveling Fellows: Alexander Golant, M.D., New York City; Gregory Mallo, M.D., Jacksonville, North Carolina; Kevin Murray, M.D., Los Gatos, California; and Brian Waterman, M.D., El Paso, Texas. We were given the opportunity to meet and learn from leaders in arthroscopy during an incredible two weeks while traveling with our “Godfather,” Donald H. Johnson, M.D. We are profoundly grateful to AANA for this extraordinary opportunity.
The Traveling Fellows and Dr. Johnson (DJ) arrived in New York City on a beautiful spring Sunday and checked into the Affina Dumont, one of Manhattan's finest boutique hotels. We assembled early the next day and headed to the prestigious NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. Our host, Laith Jazrawi, M.D., had prepared a series of exceptional educational and cultural events. The morning was spent with Dr. Jazrawi observing surgery and familiarizing ourselves with all that HJD has to offer. During our afternoon sightseeing tour of Lower Manhattan and Ground Zero, we were captivated by the history as well as the architecture. Dinner at Vic and Anthony's Steakhouse was attended by the HJD Sports Medicine faculty. The collegial atmosphere provided a great opportunity to get to know each other on a more personal level.
Day 2 started with the Sports Medicine Department journal club, followed by a tour of NYU's Outpatient Center for Musculoskeletal Care and further surgical observation. Donald Rose, M.D., repaired a SLAP II tear, which led to a spirited discussion about the indications for superior labral repair versus biceps tenodesis. We also watched Eric Strauss, M.D., skillfully perform a tibial tubercle osteotomy and ACI procedure. After lunch at Docks Oyster Bar, we retreated to the HJD surgical skills lab where Dr. Johnson expertly took us through an ACL reconstruction using hamstring autograft. Time in the lab was well spent, and we gleaned a number of technical pearls from DJ while discussing the evolution of ACL reconstruction.
The Traveling Fellows' presentations were well received at the HJD Orthopaedic Surgery Grand Rounds the following morning. We then returned to the OR where Andrew Feldman, M.D., smoothly completed a series of knee arthroscopies. Then Robert Meislin, M.D., performed an ACL reconstruction and lateral meniscus repair; perfect timing given our lab experience.
We caught a short flight from JFK to Boston, arriving in time for a fine New England dinner at Legal Sea Foods. Glen Ross, M.D., was our host for the next three days. Dr. Ross coordinated visits to multiple sites that provided us with a rich, in-depth, surgical and educational experience. We toured and observed surgery at the historic New England Baptist Hospital and the Boston Outpatient Surgical Suites in Waltham. Observing an anterior and posterior shoulder stabilization procedure by Brian McKeon, M.D., segued to an informative discussion about the evaluation and treatment of unidirectional and multidirectional instability. Suzanne Miller, M.D., adeptly performed an ACL reconstruction using the TightRope system. The Surgery Center is part of an impressive complex that also houses a state-of-the-art exercise facility, the Boston Celtics' training center, and practice court. We had the chance to grab a workout and, while touring the Celtics facility, a three-point shooting contest spontaneously erupted.
A day at the Outpatient Center of New England Baptist Hospital in Dedham also was part of the visit. Alan Curtis, M.D., showed us how to repair large and larger rotator cuff tears, demonstrating how impeccable surgical technique can make a difficult case much easier than anticipated. John Richmond, M.D., repaired a superior labral tear, which revitalized the SLAP repair versus tenodesis discussion. Mark Steiner, M.D., masterfully performed a BPTB ACL reconstruction providing a lesson in efficiency.
While in Boston we were treated to a Red Sox–Yankees game at Fenway Park and toured this historic city. Journal Club/Dinner was held at Grille 23, combining socializing and education at their finest. Faculty and the Traveling Fellowship group gathered at NEBH Saturday morning for breakfast and presentations. This exchange of ideas provided another memorable learning experience.
Denver Stanfield, M.D., was host at our third stop, Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Stanfield arranged an outstanding educational program and a very enjoyable couple of days in Cincinnati beginning with wonderful accommodations at the unique 21 C Museum Hotel. Grand Round lectures were excellent with Greg Meyer, Ph.D., speaking about ACL injury prevention and Paul Favorito, M.D., presenting on arthroscopic Latarjet. While in the OR, we were privileged to watch the arthroscopic repair of 2- and 3-tendon rotator cuff tears by Drs. Favorito and Stanfield. In every case, the tear came together nicely, and we gained pearls from their contrasting surgical approaches. Dr. Stanfield completed an open Latarjet procedure in a shoulder with significant glenoid bone loss, reinforcing what we had learned during Grand Rounds. Moreover, Dr. Stanfield provided us with a look into the business of medicine. He reviewed the operational side of his group, Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine, and their association with Mercy Health Partners.
A taste of Cincinnati occupied much of our leisure time and Skyline Chili and Graeter's ice cream were among our favorites. Dinner with the Wellington Orthopaedic team at the Precinct Steakhouse was fantastic. Although the Reds game was rained out the night we had tickets, we made full use of the Mercy Health suite.
Our amazing journey concluded at the AANA Annual Meeting in Hollywood, Florida. The pace was more relaxed than the previous 10 days, which gave us a chance to reflect on the phenomenal efforts made by our hosts. We made many new friends along the way and look forward to strengthening these relationships. Attending the President's Dinner was a perfect way to complete the Traveling Fellowship. The highlight among highlights was our remarkable “Godfather,” Dr. Donald Johnson. Time spent with DJ helped us grow professionally and personally. We have been honored to become his friends and share in his knowledge and life philosophy.
In the words of DJ, “Remember, AANA Loves You Baby!”