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UK Traveling Surgery Society visits the University of Toronto

The Traveling Surgical Society of Great Britain and Ireland is a unique group aiming to promote in-person interaction and information exchange. Though founded in 1924 well before the internet changed the way physicians disseminate information to the world, the Society continues to provide an interactive platform beyond the telecommunication and online realm that has become the norm. Through annual national and international travels, the TSS has provided much intellectual stimulation and social pleasure its members.

group photo at TORONTO sign

UK Travelling Society

This year, the Society took its first trip to Canada. Organized by TSS President Terry Irwin, Secretary Brian Ellis and our own Dr. Jim Rutka, 28 members spent a week in Toronto where all enjoyed hospital visits and academic rounds from June 3rd to 12th. Special Society guests included plastic surgeon Joe Hardwicke; Price Thomas fellow, and colorectal surgeon David Evans; from Blackburn. The group was able to enjoy some of the city’s iconic sites such as the CN Tower, Niagara Falls, the ROM, Fort York, the AGO, Casa Loma, as well as dinner receptions in their honour.

On three consecutive days, the TSS was welcomed to Mount Sinai, St. Michael’s, and the Princess Margaret Cancer Center for a day of presentations, discussion, and distribution of TSS Registrar Prizes for Department of Surgery residents. The winners included (respective to hospital sessions) Dr. Emily Partridge for her presentation on artificial placenta, Dr. Stephanie Mason for her presentation on major outcomes of burn injury, and Dr. Andrea Covelli for her presentation on mastectomies. Keynote speakers presented on medical treatment and lessons learned from the Falkland Conflicts, Afghanistan and Camp Bastion. The formal clinical presentations spoke to a variety of topics including local sarcoma and hereditary gastric cancer programs, colorectal cancer, pancreatic tumours, hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), liver transplantation, drug smuggling in the gut, and innovative methods of abdominal wall closures.

lab work

UK Traveling Society in the lab at Mt. Sinai Hospital

group photo

UK Travelling Society members

Each afternoon, the TSS visited a particular skills center. At the Mount Sinai Surgical Skills Center, our visitors were able to watch students practice a variety of procedures. At the Allan Waters Family Simulation Center at St. Michael’s, they were shown the Basic Life Support (BLS) and trauma management programs and their application using the simulated patient and life support equipment. Finally, they were able to witness the ventilation and experimental perfusion of an exvivo pig lung at the Latner Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratories in the Toronto General Research Institute, as part of the lung transplant program.

UK Travelling Society memorabilia

UK Travelling Society memorabilia

This special event was a first of its kind for the Department of Surgery, providing a cross-border academic and technical exchange with the opportunity for spirited discussion and debate along the way.

Joanna Giddens, Strategic Plan Coordinator,
Department of Surgery, University of Toronto

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