Orthopedic Trauma Initiative Launched

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The launching of the harvard medical School's Orthopedic Trauma Initiative

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  • 1. H M S O R T H O P E D I C T R A U M A I N I T I A T I V ETrauma RoundsReports from the Harvard Medical School Orthopedic Trauma InitiativeA Quarterly Case Study Volume 6, Fall 2014Orthopedic Trauma Initiative LaunchedMark Vrahas, MDIn March 2014, Harvard Medical School wel-comedthe Harvard Medical School OrthopedicTrauma Initiative as part of an elite group oftwenty-two Institutes, Centers, Divisions andInitiatives. We are proud to be part of thisgroup and our new name is reflected in our up-datedmasthead. The primary purpose of this Initiative is tofoster collaboration amongst the orthopedic trauma services atall four Harvard Teaching Hospitals in Boston: Mass General,Childrens, Brigham and Womens, and Beth Israel Deaconess.This effort (and a long effort it was) formalizes our dedicationto ensuring excellent educational opportunities in musculo-skeletaltrauma for HMS students, our HCORP Residents, andFellows in the Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Fellowship Pro-gram.As a group, our trauma surgeons will work together todevelop clinical pathways, collaborate on clinical research, andbe in large part because of our size - the premier research cen-ternationally and internationally.Many of you have likely already recognized us as Harvard Or-thopedicTrauma and may be surprisedthat we are just now achieving this dis-tinction.Those familiar with the Har-vardsystem are aware that HarvardMedical School does not own any hospi-talsor run any clinical departments. Allclinical education takes place at affili-atedhospitals with Beth Israel, Brighamand Womens, Childrens, and MassGeneral the most prominent. It is nosecret that all these hospitals are fiercelycompetitive. Even Mass General andBrigham - the founding members ofPartners Healthcare - infrequently co-operatein clinical practice. It is also uncommon for specialistsfrom the different Harvard hospitals to collaborate in research.The Orthopedic Trauma Services at these four institutions havebeen different. Over the past 15 years, each of the affiliatedhospitals has developed a robust orthopedic trauma program.Early in this development, the orthopedic trauma surgeons atthese hospitals decided that there was greater utility in cooper-atingthan competing. Thus, we have coordinated our educa-tionalefforts, combined clinical protocols, and initiated multi-pleclinical studies. We even occasionally cover one anotherclinically. It is further not unusual for any of us to email thegroup for advice about difficult cases. Moreover, we have al-waysconsidered ourselves Harvard Orthopedic Trauma. Thissaid, we have lacked both the official designation and the title.Harvard does not allow clinical departments or divisions toclaim the Harvard name for good reason. As an example, theSports Medicine program at one of the hospitals cannot claim tobe Harvard Sports Medicine because there are sports medi-cineprograms at each of the affiliated hospitals. Similarly, thereis no Harvard Chief of Orthopedic Surgery or even a HarvardFigure 1. Residents from the Harvard CombinedOrthopaedic Residency Program at the HarvardOrthopedic Trauma sponsored Boot Camp.Trauma Rounds, Volume 6, Fall 20141

2. H M S O R T H O P E D I C T R A U M A I N I T I A T I V EFigure 2. Residents learn how to place a K-wire at Boot Camp.Chief of Arthroplasty. Surgeons at each of the hospitals aremembers of the Harvard faculty, and all can claim Harvard af-filiationbut none can claim their program to be the HarvardProgram. This is something Harvard rigorously enforces. Wethus wanted to achieve official recognition in order for us tocontinue our mission in an official capacity.Once we decided to move forward with achieving this officialdesignation, it took many years of meetings, drafting and re-draftingour proposed by-laws, and submitting our applicationunder Harvards processes for recognition. Once Harvard wasready to proceed under its new structure, the newly-establishedcommittee interviewed us. A few weeksafter that we received disappointing news that they didnot feel we would contribute anything unique. Fortu-nately,after more hard work, we were able to point outthat clinicians collaborating across Harvard hospitalswas, in its own right, incredibly unique if not unprece-dented.Ultimately, the committee approved our re-questand we were officially recognized by the Dean ofthe Medical School as Harvard Medical School Ortho-pedicTrauma Initiative.We owe much to the Chairmen at the four largeHarvard-affiliated hospitals. Each has been very sup-portiveof the orthopedic trauma programs and facultyat his hospital, and they have always encouraged ourcollaborations. There is no way we could have doneany of this work without their full-fledged support andencouragement.So what is the Harvard Medical School OrthopedicTrauma Initiative? Our Initiative is an organizationcomposed of clinicians and researchers dedicated toadvancing the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletalinjuries through research, education and clinical cooperation.The primary criterion for joining the group is an interest inmusculoskeletal trauma. While orthopedic trauma surgeonsand researchers will likely be most interested in joining thegroup, membership is not restricted to these specialists. Physi-ciansand researchers from other subspecialties within orthope-dics,and other medical and surgical specialties from any of theHarvard-affiliated hospitals are also welcome. There are alsomembership opportunities for alumni, medical students andresidents. In short, our goal is to be inclusive.We have already embarked on several initiatives. We have col-laboratedto develop orthopedic learning objectives for resi-dentsand medical students to make them consistent acrosshospitals. We coordinate Grand Rounds speakers to avoid du-plicatingefforts and to ensure that each hospitals trauma sur-geonscan benefit from our guests. As a group, we meetmonthly to review ongoing research and plan upcoming pro-jects,and we have an annual Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Re-searchDay. We proudly present at meetings under one name Harvard Orthopedic Trauma.After a long wait we are busy organizing the Initiatives details.Our aim is to develop an inclusive, robust and productive col-laboration.As this issue goes to press, we have just begun ourmembership drive. We hope you will consider joining us.Mark Vrahas, MD is the Chief of Partners Orthopaedic Trauma Service andVice Chairman of the MGH Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.Editor in ChiefMark Vrahas, MDProgram DirectorSuzanne Morrison, MPH(617) 525-8876smmorrison@partners.orgMarilyn Heng, MD - New Orthopedic Trauma FacultyWe are delighted to announce that MarilynHeng, MD, has joined our faculty as an Ortho-pedicmember of our Partners team and will practiceprimarily at Massachusetts General Hospital.Dr. Heng is a former Harvard OrthopedicTrauma Fellow. This Summer she completed ayear-long fellowship in Orthopaedic Oncologyat the University of Toronto. Dr. Hengs clinicalinterests include: pelvic & acetabular trauma;pathological fractures; and correction of tibialnon-unions & deformities with circular frames.Her academic interests are: geriatric fracture outcomes; pain manage-ment& protocols; and quality improvement & efficiency.Your may refer patients to Dr. Heng by calling: (617) 726-9111Editor, PublisherArun Shanbhag, PhD, MBAShare your comments online, by email, or mail:HarvardOrthoTrauma@partners.orgYawkey Center for Outpatient Care, Ste 3C55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114Trauma Attending. Dr. Heng will be awww.MassGeneral.org/orthowww.BrighamAndWomens.org/orthopedicswww.Bidmc.org/orthopaedicswww.ChildrensHospital.org/orthopedic-centerAchesAndJoints.org/Trauma2Trauma Rounds, Volume 6, Fall 2014