2015 Travelling Fellowship from Europe to the United States
EFOST and AOSSM Travelling Fellowship

March 28th till April 11th 2015


  • Duncan E. Meuffels MD, PhD. Assistant Professor, Sports Medicine Department, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Mirco Herbort MD. Assistant Professor, Privatdozent, Westfaelische Universität Münster, Germany

Dear colleagues, dear EFOST board,

On behalf of myself, Duncan Meuffels and my EFOST travelling partner Mirco Herbort, I would sincerely like to thank the EFOST for selecting us and organizing such a wonderful and unique fellowship.
We are very grateful to all the people involved from the EFOST board, especially Burt Klos and his assistant Judith Fredrix, who helped tremendously with the organizing and the logistics of the trip.
We would like to thank our hosts in all the American cities who made this fellowship possible:

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Tom Branch and John Xerogeas in Atlanta
Robert Magnussen, Grant Jones, Chris Kaeding in Columbus, Ohio
Bruce Reider, Jason Koh and Sherwin Ho in Chicago
Andrew Pearle, Scott Rodeo, Josh Dines, Bryan Kelly and Jo Hannafin in New York
And all of their staff and especially the sports medicine fellows in all of the hospitals.
We are eternality grateful. It has been a life-changing event, many new ways have been seen and many established steps have been confirmed, or as Mirco put it : “we all cook with the same water”. We are sure that many new friendships have started thanks to this wonderful opportunity. We are looking forward to share some of our experiences in the following summary of our trip and are grateful to be able to share this at the annual meeting of EFOST in Turin.
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The AOSSM-EFOST Travelling Fellowship started off in Las Vegas, where we were fortunate to follow the AOSSM 2015 specialty day. The specialty day gives you the opportunity to listen and understand nearly the whole spectrum of sports medicine injuries, which were put in a very concise and up to date presentation on all major topics. At this annual meeting we were able to compare American perspectives in diagnosing and treatment of common and more rare sports medicine injuries with our own practice in Germany and in the Netherlands. We found many common grounds and many shared views. Experiencing this in Las Vegas gave it a nearly surreal surrounding in the Disneyland for adults as it also known. We were not only able to learn more about American orthopedic sports medicine, but we were also able to view some of the sites in Las Vegas and surrounding areas, such as Hoover Dam.

We than took the red-eye flight to Atlanta where we were kindly met very early in the morning, or for us very late at night, by Tom Branch and his team. We were warmly welcomed in his home, got settled and then we were introduced to his research team who have been able to set up a center dedicated to research, starting off in an endeavor to measure and quantify rotational instability of the knee.
In this privately funded firm many different entities are available to work on solving this universal problem. We were also hosted by Emory University and Georgia Tech orthopedic surgeon John Xerogeas who showed us the ground, the campus and the surgery complex where we were able to watch some very interesting knee surgeries and we were both impressed by his skills. Not only in surgery but also with his patients. We admired the unique set up with a webcam to inform the family of the progress of the operation. We were than given the opportunity to visit Atlanta and went to the Coca-Cola Museum to understand more of that what has build Atlanta. We enjoyed very much the hospitality, their fine choices in dining and have made some wonderful friendships.

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We than continued to Columbus, Ohio, where we were hosted by the NCAA Football champions and we were impressed by their full coverage of all the university varsity sports teams  in so many different areas. Columbus Ohio is dominated by American Football, which is clear as soon as you arrive in the city where the 110.000 seating stadium is clearly centered in the middle of the city. We enjoyed two great days of knee and shoulder surgery and were shown around the campus, the medical facilities and were able to share our own research and learn about theirs.
We were very impressed with the local set up, the MOON study group and the possibilities that were given by a mechanical and neuromuscular research lab.

After enjoying the great hospitality of Bob Magnussen and his barbeque skills, we proceeded to Chicago where we arrived on Easter morning. We were met there; by Sherwin Ho, his wife and the sports medicine fellows who showed us Chicago from a yacht, by foot and by car. Our Chicago visit was co-hosted by Jason Koh where we were able to see the training facilities for the orthopedic residents. We were able to participate in a cadaver workshop and were able to learn about the research at Chicago University and share our own research ideas. We were not only entertained during the day, but at night we were led around Chicago, enjoyed great NHL ice hockey in Chicago and the famous Bob Ditka’s Steakhouse. This was matched by the hospitality at the university and at the surgery complex by the whole team at Chicago University.

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After this great experience we then flew to New York, where we were already impressed with the great marketing that the Hospital For Special Surgery has all over the United States. A huge billboard was clear to see at O’Hare airport, showing the expertise of this world-renowned clinic. We were greeted at a classic New York restaurant, where not only the majority of the sports medicine department staff of the Hospital For Special Surgery was gathered, but there was also a huge picket line outside, emphasizing the great vocal strength of the New Yorkers. We were given the opportunity to present our research as guest lecturer for the sports medicine department in their auditorium. After which we joined in for surgery and were then able to enjoy the rest of our days in the Hospital For Special Surgery, where the total staff of 130 orthopedic surgeons and the 25 dedicated sports medicine specialists made our stay unforgettable. The last day of our fellowship, before taking the flight back home, was spent walking across Manhattan Island and discussing all our new ideas, plans and thoughts that we had acquired during this wonderful and unique two and a half week trip together. A unique bond and wonderful friendship has been born with all our hosts in the United States and a great lifelong friend has been found due to this trip in a neighbouring country.

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