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Thursday, March 16, 2000

Surgeons prepare for April conference in Cairo, Egypt

Though the invitations have already been sent, the logistics are still to be determined for an April 9-13 meeting of orthopaedic surgeons at the Egyptian International Conference Center in Cairo, Egypt.

Hassan El-Zaher, MD, professor of orthopaedics at Ain Shams University in Cairo and past president of the Egypt Orthopaedic Association, came to the AAOS Annual Meeting to firm up plans for the April conference.

"We're excited to have a conference in Egypt and I'm looking forward to finally getting the doctors there," Dr. El-Zaher said. "There are many orthopaedic surgeons in Egypt who form the nucleus for orthopaedic practices in Arabic countries. There is much to learn and share among the doctors."

The Egypt conference is the second in four years for AAOS. Academy course lectures offered by five faculty members in 1997 were well received, said Dr. El-Zaher, and he expects a more enthusiastic response in April, when 10 faculty members will lead the learning seminars.

"There have been technological advances and the doctors everywhere are eager to learn about new methods of joint replacement and mini-invasive surgery," he said. "New ideas are very expensive to put into practice, but certain organizations and universities have the means to make them available."

Cairo University and Ain Shams University are two of the Egyptian academic institutions who will benefit from the new technologies, said El-Zaher. The rapidly changing landscape of medicine and the rise of technology to help promote healing makes it necessary for doctors to return to their studies, sometimes learning on the fly about new methods to heal troubled patients.

"Arthroscopic surgery and mini-invasive surgery for the spine are in great demand," Dr. El-Zaher said. "Work on the spinal vertebrae can be greatly improved with technology and doctors are eager to discover how it's done."

While there is demand for the knowledge, El-Zaher hopes AAOS will expand its role as a resource for international orthopaedic surgeons. The Egypt Orthopaedic Association has existed for more than 50 years, said Dr. El-Zaher, who now acts as "president for life" of the EOA. He said the infusion of knowledge from AAOS lecturers can only benefit worldwide expertise in orthopaedics.

"I function primarily in a support role and as an advisor for the 2,000 orthopaedic surgeons in Egypt," he said. "There are more than 60 million inhabitants in Egypt, many of whom need orthopaedic surgeons. I want to deepen and enlarge the organization and increase the skills of the surgeons through various means, including the lecture series offered by AAOS."

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Last modified 16/March/2000 by IS