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Day 33: Last Day, Starship, Waiheke Island, Mudbrick, Northern Club

We had a bit of time this morning to rest up and get organized on the last day of the fellowship. Sukhdeep and Derek joined  Andy Graydon and Haemish Crawford at Starship Children’s Hospital. They participated in morning report and ward rounds and then discussed a few challenging cases. 

For our afternoon activity, Mike Rosenfeldt and Andy Graydon took us for a ferry ride from Auckland to Waiheke Island. From there we took a short taxi ride to Mudbrick Winery. At the beautiful vineyard and winery we found a wonderful lunch and great bottle of Pinot Noir and another great bottle of Chardonnay. The views weren’t too bad either. 

Our final dinner was just a short walk across the street from our hotel and the historic Northern Club. We donned our black tie attire for the final time. The former New Zealand ABC’s are a dedicated and enthusiastic bunch. Many were in attendance.

Harley Gray ‘76

Tony Hardy ‘82

Barry Tietjens ‘84

Peter Robertson ‘96

Dawson Muir ‘10

Brendan Coleman ‘14

Andrew Graydon ‘16

Mike Rosenfeldt ‘18

Just for fun, we recreated a photo from our first formal dinner almost 5 weeks ago.

It is bitter sweet that the 2019 ABC Traveling Fellowship has come to an end. We are excited to see our families again and to get back to the routine of our practices, now with new ideas and renewed energy and excitement. But, it will be hard separating from our new friendships. And we will certainly miss the eminence hospitality that has been shown to us all over the world.

Day 32: NZOA COE Day 2; Travel to Auckland; Portofino

We were back in The Piano Concert Hall for the second day of the NZOA COE. The ABC’s were once again featured prominently on the podium throughout the day. Topics for the day included Spine and Orthogeriatrics, Pathologic Fractures, Lower Limb Trauma, and Overall Perspective. Here again is the full conference agenda:

Mike: Robotics in Spine Surgery

Philipp: Fracture Healing in the Elderly

Hassan: Pelvic Ring Injury Management

Sukhdeep: Building Networks to Improve Patient Care and Surgeon Well-being

On Gordon’s recommendations, we stepped out of the conference for a bit around lunchtime to see a bit of the city before leaving town. The shopping center and botanical gardens were both within walking distance. It was a lovely day for a walk. Construction is everywhere as the city continues to heal from the earthquake. By the looks of it, Christchurch is going to come back better and stronger than ever.

Sukhdeep got the last official word of the tour with her talk on Surgeon Wellness during the final session of the COE. She incorporated the ABC Fellowship into her presentation as so many aspects of this experience have increased our wellness, especially a sense of community and camaraderie with our co-fellows.

We then traveled to Auckland and were met by Mike and Andy. They escorted us to the Pullman Hotel and then left us alone for a 2019 ABC Traveling Fellowship Dinner. We chose Italian since it is the one food type we haven’t had in the past 5 weeks. We reminisced about the past five weeks. Try as we did, we were unable to come up with many low points. It has been a wonderful experience all around.

Day 31: NZOA COE Day 1; Great Hall

Today was the first day of the NZOA COE. Today’s conference schedule offered sections on Pediatric Trauma and Radiology, Infection and Bone Healing, Upper Limb Trauma, Upper Limb Soft Tissue and Nerve Injuries and Healthcare. We had a number of presentations including:

Derek: Pediatric Femur Fractures- Trends in the US

Derek: Tibial Tubercle Fractures- “New” Fracture Type and Meta-analysis

Antonia: Treatment of Periprosthetic Joint Infection

Philipp: Anti-depressants and Bone Healing

Ruby: Complications of Distal Radius Fractures

Ruby: Both Bone Forearm Malunions

Hassan: Global Systems of Healthcare and Trauma

This rest of us will be presenting tomorrow. If interested, please use the following link to access the entire NZOA COA Program:

The course attendees shuttled across town to a beautiful facility that, like so many structures in Christchurch, was recently reopened after earthquake related renovations. We were treated to an excellent three course meal in The Grand Hall of the Arts Centre. Our Christchurch host, Gordon, honored us with a few nice gifts and a few nice words. He, and his team, have gone above and beyond to make us feel welcomed and to integrate our talks into their academic program.

Day 30: Lake Wakatipu Gondola, Travel to Christchurch, NZOA COE

Unfortunately we had to depart Millbrook today. We stopped for a bit of site-seeing in Queenstown before our short flight to Christchurch. Mike Rosenfeldt looked after us up the gondola and back down again. The summit overlooked Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, a crystal clear glacier lake. We are all really going to miss these stunning views.

We arrived in Christchurch and went straight to work. We dropped off our bags and immediately joined the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association Continuing Orthopedic Education (NZOA COE) reception that was already taking place just down the street at The Piano concert hall. The NZOA has organized what promises to be a great two day symposium on trauma. And, they have aligned the conference to coincide with our visit.

Dinner was across town at Town Tonic. We were joined by a number of our new good friends from Queenstown, along with the NZOA Council Members, and our local orthopedic hosts from Christchurch who sponsored the dinner. The orthopedic community in Christchurch is very resilient having overcome two mass casualty events in under a decade. The first involved a series of earthquakes in 2011. The second was the mass shooting that occurred just a few months ago. This is clearly a town that knows how to rise above and rebuild.

Day 29: Shotover Jet, Clubs/Spokes/Flies, The Grille

We woke to a stunning clear blue sky and a crisp autumn breeze. After breakfast we all traveled a short distance to the Shotover River where we participated in a thrilling team-building exercise on a shotover jet boat. It was a wild, cold ride.

For the afternoon, we divided up into groups with the New Zealand ABCs for golf, mountain biking, or fly fishing. The weather was simply perfect for all three. Great times were had by all.

Dinner was in Queenstown at a restaurant called The Grille. It is nice that we get to spend all week with the same group of orthopedists. They are such a friendly and collegial bunch.

Day 28: Travel to Queenstown, Mohammed Home, Millbrook Resort, Rosie B’s

We had an early morning departure from Melbourne. With time changes, we arrived in Queenstown in the middle of the afternoon.

We were met by a whole gang of former New Zealand ABCs. Our first stop was the home of Khalid Mohammed (2000).  We shared some excellent local wines and became acquainted with one another. The views were magnificent.

Then we were escorted to Millbrook Resort, which is the home for our Networking and Leadership Forum over the next two days. The former NZ ABCs gather every four years when the North American ABCs come to town. They are a very tight-knit, collegial group. It is quite clear that they very much look forward to this meeting. We are going to learn a lot from these guys over the coming days.

Dinner was a short drive from Millbrook at a restaurant called Rosie B’s in Arrowtown, which originally sprang up in the 1860s when gold was discovered on the Arrow River and Chinese prospectors rushed to the area. Large quantities of very delicious food were served family style. We talked shop, compared healthcare systems, and shared stories about shared colleagues. The worldwide orthopedic community now seems much smaller as we near the end of our travels.

New Zealand ABCs in attendance: Mike Barnes (1994), Peter Robertson (1996), Khalid Mohammed (2000), Haemish Crawford (2002), Gordon Beadel (2012), Brendan Coleman (2014), Andrew Graydon (2016), Mike Rosenfeldt (2018)

Day 27: Pies and Saints, Tran Home, Lantern Walk

We had time this morning for enjoying street art, exercise, email, and ladies brunch with some local ortho women. Sukhdeep and Derek took a side trip to the Royal Children’s Hospital of Melbourne. It is such a well-designed, functional, and beautiful facility where so much great clinical and research work has been done over the years.

And then it was off to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the Australian Football League game between The Collingwood Magpies (Pies) and the St. Kilda Saints. Richard had arranged for us to share in his hospital’s club suite. We are so fortunate! The weather today was just right for any outdoor sporting event; and, Australian-rules football was no exception. With the help of a number of consultants, we soon picked up the rules of the game. Before long we had chosen favorite teams, purchased souvenirs, and joined in on the fun; yelling at the refs, and cheering for “our” players. The match was nearly tied at the end of the 3rd quarter. But then the Pies went on a scoring spree and ended up blowing the game wide open with a final score of 112 to 71. Those of us we had chosen Collingwood were very happy to gloat to those who had not. Phong was elated since he is a long time Magpie fan.

Following the game we took a short walk to the Tran home were we tried out some whisky and Phong’s hammock. Then we took a very long walk back into the city via the sports complex with the Australian Open tennis tournament is held. Once back downtown, we stopped by a Saint Martin Lantern Walk for a bit of German Festival fun. We were introduced to Phong’s wife and children. We had a round of gluhwein and pretzels, and met “St. Martin” himself.

The night ended with burgers and drinks as we said good-bye to our newest best friend, Phong Tran. He has been such a gracious and selfless host!