The History of The Caribbean Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (TCOS)

Twenty-three orthopaedic surgeons from eight English-speaking Caribbean islands/countries, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Antigua,Guyana and the U.S. Virgin Islands, met at the Kapok Hotel on October 1, 2005 in the sunny isle of Trinidad and Tobago. The meeting or “Lime I” as it was called was borne out of a desire of orthopaedic surgeons in the region to develop closer links with each other; to become more aware of the challenges which confront each of us in our respective islands/countries, and to offer technical support to our colleagues who work in environments with limited resources.

Successive annual meetings (Lime II and III) were held in 2006 and 2007 and each time on the 1st weekend in October. In 2007, because of the sustained interests of those 23 orthopaedic surgeons, the Caribbean Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons was launched. Since then Annual Scientific Meetings have been held on the first weekend in October. The attendees include orthopaedic surgeons and residents from the Caribbean, as well as invited speakers fromUnited States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Columbia, Venezuela, Italy, Nigeria andPuerto Rico.

In 2010, the Association was incorporated under the Companies Act in Jamaica as aLimited Liability Company, Limited by Guarantee. In May 2014, the Association was registered under the Charities Act, 2013 as an Approved Charitable Organization.

The main objectives of the Association are:

  • The promotion of high quality care for all the peoples of the Caribbean through the advancement of the science, art and practice of orthopaedic surgery.
  • The development, encouragement and advancement of continuing education and research in orthopaedics for the public benefit.

The impact of The Caribbean Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons has been manifested in a number of ways:

  • Links have been formed and maintained between orthopaedic surgeons in the English speaking Caribbean, and these have resulted in easy exchange of ideas; discussions of challenging and interesting cases, and the implementation of technical support in the form of surgical expertise and advice.
  • A forum at which residents have continued to develop the art and confidence of presenting their research projects. A prize is awarded to the resident with the best research paper.
  • A source of continued medical education within the Caribbean.
  • Dr Ayana Crichlow, during residency, was awarded second prize for her research paper which was presented at the National Medical Association in Florida, United States ofAmerica, in August 2010. The paper entitled “Blood transfusion practices in total join tarthroplasties in Jamaica” was published in a peer reviewed journal.
  • As a result of the efforts of Professor Anthony Rankin, a past president of the AmericanAssociation of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a successful Combined Meeting was held between theJ Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society and The Caribbean Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Barbados in 2012.
  • The abstracts from two Scientific Meetings, 2012 and 2013, have been published asSupplements of the West Indian Medical Journal.

As we look to the future as an Association, it is imperative that the membership give deep consideration to the following:

  • It is the responsibility of the Association to encourage its members to achieve and maintain best-practice methods. The Association should provide the young orthopaedic surgeons and residents with a set of values that can serve as their moral compass. A good example has more value than good advice.
  • The pace of technology and change have increased substantially over the past few years and the membership must keep abreast with the many innovations, even though some do not survive the test of time.
  • Everything begins with research. The treatment of tomorrow depends on the research of today. The varied and interesting musculoskeletal pathology in the Caribbean make our region a rich source for research. A priority of the Association must be the fostering of collaborative good research.
  • The development of leadership is an area that requires involvement of the Association. Behavioural theories are grounded in the notion that leaders can be groomed through proper training and observation. The Association should develop the infrastructure to support this.
  • The Association should foster and maintain links with the governments of the Caribbean Diaspora and provide expert consultation on formation of policies that impact on trauma and orthopaedic needs of our community.

There are many challenges ahead and to paraphrase Winston Churchill, “every challenge also represents a great opportunity”. In addition, we should always be mindful of the words of Henry Ford, the American industrialist, “coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success”. The Caribbean Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons has the ability to shape and craft its future and to define it.

Dr. R. E. Christopher Rose, CD, FRCSC, FACS
President 2007 – 2011
August 2, 2016

The powers of the Association are:

  • To offer advice and co-ordinate technical support to orthopaedic surgeons in the Caribbean especially those who work in environments of limited resources.
  • To provide opportunities through which surgical experiences and scientific research in orthopaedic surgery may be presented in the Caribbean and the international community.
  • To promote and encourage public awareness of musculoskeletal injuries and disease through education.
  • To offer assistance to professional and civic groups in the interest of the health of the Caribbean.
  • To collaborate as appropriate with any government or authorities (supreme, municipal, local or otherwise) in effecting the objects of the Association.

Board of Directors

President: Marlon Mencia
Vice President: Jeff Chase
Treasurer: Horatius Jeffers
Secretary: Philip Waite
Immediate Past President: Jerome Jones
Director: Wayne Palmer
Director: R E Christopher Rose
Director: Akshai Mansingh

Founding Members of TCOS

Ali, Terry
Araujo, Godfrey
Carrington, Randolph
Chase, Jeff
Chode, Prasad
Jeffers, Horatius
Jeffrey, Fawcett
Jones, Jerome
Jones, Kevin
Joseph, Terence
Lousaing, Derrick
Mansingh, Akshai
McDowell, Derrick
Mencia, Marlon
Minott, Mark
Palmer, Wayne
Rose, Christopher
Sawh, Dayanand
Seale, Winston
Singh, K. K.
Toby, David
Waite, Philip
Woods, Charles

Past Presidents of TCOS

Marlon Mencia 2013 – 2016
Jerome Jones 2011 – 2013
Christopher Rose 2007 – 2011