International Knowledge Sharing: HSS Hosts Greek Orthopedic Surgeons, Hope for Worldwide Impact on Patient Care

Hospital for Special Surgery’s International Learning and Training Center is helping Greek surgeons continue their medical education

NEW YORK, N.Y.—April 21, 2007 

In an effort to help orthopedic surgeons working in underserved areas in Greece continue to expand their medical knowledge and improve patient care, New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is hosting a group of 25 Greeks in a two-day interactive symposium focused on state-of-the-art knee replacement.

As demand around the world for total knee replacements continues to grow, this educational program provides an opportunity for HSS orthopedic surgeons to share their specialized knowledge with fellow physicians from Greece. Funded by the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation, the knee replacement continuing medical education program will cover the full spectrum of knee replacement surgery with the patient in mind. Topics expected to be covered include innovative surgical techniques, pre- and postoperative care, treatment of infection and rehabilitation.

“I can’t put a value on the surgical skills that I’ve learned at HSS,” said Panagiotis Koulouvaris, M.D., PhD, a resident of Greece, who has been a fellow funded under grants from the Arthritis Foundation and the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation at HSS since September 2004. Dr. Koulouvaris sees a real need for knowledge sharing with other orthopedic surgeons in Greece. “I’ve really gained the confidence I need to operate on patients and feel as though I’m learning from the best orthopedic surgeons in the world.”

While the symposium is open to all Greek orthopedic surgeons, the goal was to involve surgeons who are early in their practicing career to encourage them to take advantage of the type of educational program that isn’t always available to them in their native country. “By attending a program like this, young doctors will have a chance to develop relationships with leading physicians in the area of orthopedics,” said Dr. Koulouvaris. “These relationships can serve as an important resource when they return to Greece by giving them an outlet to share ideas and seek additional professional opinions.”

The two-day symposium, taking place on Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28, will be co-chaired by Richard S. Laskin, M.D., attending orthopedic surgeon and chief of the Division of Arthroplasty at HSS, and Thomas P. Sculco, M.D., surgeon-in-chief at HSS, and will include a live minimally invasive total knee replacement surgery.

HSS, recognized for pioneering total knee replacement, developing new imaging protocols for MRI evaluation of cartilage and leading the way in the development of minimally invasive procedures that reduce hospital stays, has continuously opened their doors to international physicians. In the past, the hospital has hosted Japanese and Italian orthopedic surgeons in similar efforts to share knowledge.

While this is the hospital’s first educational program specifically with Greek orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Koulouvaris hopes that educational opportunities like this will continue to be offered to help improve patient care and services in Greece.

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology and rehabilitation. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics, No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2007), and has received Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In the 2006 edition of HealthGrades' Hospital Quality in America Study, HSS received five-star ratings for clinical excellence in its specialties. A member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and an affiliate of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, HSS provides orthopedic and rheumatologic patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center. All Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are on the faculty of Weill Medical College of Cornell University. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at www.hss.edu.

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