Two of the region’s top orthopaedic surgeons from Baptist Health South Florida in Miami, Florida, flew into Nassau recently for the Caribbean Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (CAOS) 12th Annual Scientific Meeting, in which regional doctors come together to exchange new ways to mend common issues.
The annual conference spanned in topics from sports medicine to trauma. Charles Jordan, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at Miami Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida, believes it is of the utmost importance that organizations such as the CAOS be supported in their endeavors to hold such academic conferences in the Caribbean.
“These meetings give us a forum to share our experiences and teach each other in a way that textbooks and medical journals simply can never do,” Dr. Jordan added. “Physicians take this shared knowledge and experience back to our island homes or back to the States as in my case, and use it to better treat our patients. Ultimately this is a huge benefit for the people of the Caribbean and South Florida. This is one of the most important ways that we can stay current in treatment techniques and improve upon the already outstanding care that we provide our patients.”
“Staying up to date with industry advances goes further than just the doctors in attendance”, said Baptist Health’s International Representative for the Caribbean, Kathleen Tuitt. She explains that the exchange of information can provide regional patients with the expertise they need without having to travel.
“In the past, patients would come to Miami with a suitcase filled with cash to pay hospitals for their services,” said Tuitt. “These days, most of our patients have commercial insurance policies that cover services and allow patients to get care outside of their countries. It is still important to have these kinds of conferences where we can build relationships with Caribbean doctors, so patients, in turn, have the best options for care.”
Baptist Health orthopedic surgeon Joseph Grant Muller, M.D., who presented on lesser toe and hammertoe deformities, said that while the Caribbean registers many orthopaedic injuries with the feet and ankles, there are not many specialists in the foot and ankle areas. In the U.S., there are many surgeons who concentrate on one area as they have the population to sustain their specialization. Dr. Muller stated that in situations like this, it is a good thing many people in countries like The Bahamas were in close proximity to the U.S. for assistance.
“These are problems you take care of sooner rather than later,” he added. “That’s why it’s good that Baptist Health is so close, and you’re just 30 minutes away from getting consultation.”