We are pleased to report that 4 out of our 5 final year candidates successfully completed the final exit examination. This was run by independent examiners from Australia and New Zealand. We are grateful to Dr Richard Lander (Chief Examiner) and Dr Sud Rao from New Zealand and Dr Peter Cundy and Dr Andreas Loefler from Australia. The exam followed a similar format to the FRACS examination with 2 written papers, 2 clinical vivas and 3 computer based vivas. Candidates were tested on 45 different scenarios. We are proud of the teamwork and cameraderie shown by our final year candidates as they supported their colleague who was unsuccessful.
The next modules commence on Monday 28 July in Kundiawa, PNG highlands. We are grateful to the Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital which will host us for the next 3 weeks. The topics to be covered include Knee , Foot & Ankle. We will have 16 trainees do the modules. In addition we will do our second ever exit exam. We have 5 candidates presenting for their final exam. They are Shaun Mauili and Areta Samuelu from Samoa, Mark Rokobuli from Fiji , Alex Munamua and James Tewa’ani from Solomon Islands.
Dr Shaun Mauiliu, PIOA final year trainee performed the first ever TENS nail in Samoa. Shaun learned the technique in 2018 at the PIOA Paediatric module. He has recently received a new NET brand TENS set supplied by Narang Medical Ltd. from India which provides cost effective implants for less developed countries.
The fracture was redcued closed and the surgery took 30 minutes. Well done Shaun and team. Very proud of you.
PIOA first year trainee, Dr. Reshwin Rajan, from Solomon Islands presented a poster at the Asia Pacific Orthopaedic Association (APOA) Sports meeting 2019 conference in Kuala Lumur. He is the first trainee to represent PIOA at APOA. His paper was on the “Epidemiology of Soccer related fractures in Solomon Islands“. Pictured with him is Dr. Jashint Maharaj, an associate member of PIOA, previously of Fiji but now living in Brisbane, who also presented at the same conference.
Today marks the culmination of a 7 plus year journey for Dr. Stephen Kodovaru from Solomon Islands. Stephen received a Master of Surgery in Orthopaedics from the National University of Samoa in Apia. He is the first graduate of the Pacific Islands Orthopaedic Association training program. He is also the current President of PIOA.
You can read more at
Module 1 was held at the Modilon Hospital and the Madang Lodge Conference room in Madang, Papua New Guinea(PNG) from February 4th to February 22nd, 2019. There were 14 trainees in the Introductory module and 17 trainees attended the Upper limb module. They are Dr. Shaun Mauiliu from Apia in Samoa, Dr. Alex Munamua, Dr. Reshwin Rajan and Dr. Clay Siosi from Solomon Islands, Dr. Pita Sovanivalu from Fiji, Dr. Johnny Hedson from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, Dr. Naseri Aiotato from American Samoa, Dr. Juvencio Dias our first trainee from Timor Leste and Dr. Haynes Rasin from Buka (autonomous region of Bougainville), Dr. Jimmy Yakea from Popondetta, Dr. Viola Kokiva, our first female trainee, from Kavieng, Dr. Raymond Saulep and Dr. Bohu Urakoko from Kundiawa, Dr. Felix Diaku and Dr Kevin Lapu from Rabaul, Dr. Stevens James from Lae and Dr. Anthony Nasai from Wabag (all from PNG). The lectures were delivered by Dr. Bruno Fries from Switzerland, Dr. David Bartle, Dr. Vaughan Poutawera and Dr Roy Craig from New Zealand, Dr. Stephen Kodovaru from Solomon Islands, Dr Sara Coll, Dr. Ian Incoll, Dr Paul Hitchen, Dr. Stephen Quain, Dr. Matthew Sharland, Dr. John Stephen, Dr. Graham Gumley, Dr. Keat Choong (Infectious diseases) and Dr. Des Soares from Australia.
In the Introductory module students were taught a systematic approach to history taking, clinical examination and investigation with a focus on trauma and common orthopaedic conditions. In the first week the practical sessions were aimed at common trauma management options including external fixation and basic internal fixation.
In the upper limb module, the students were taught a systematic approach to diagnosis and management of Upper limb conditions. This included clinical history taking and a thorough clinical examination with emphasis on a systematic approach to the management of conditions affecting the shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. This included the management of the soft tissues and the management of closed and open fractures. In addition, there were focussed lectures and practicals on the management of hand trauma with the first ever microsurgery course over 4 days.
Lectures were supplemented with practical demonstrations. Each morning we commenced with a ward round seeing two or three patients and getting the students to present the history and clinical signs of the patients. Their management was then discussed and suggestions for improvement were made. This was a useful exercise as we were able to improve clinical skills. It was also helpful to try and elucidate clinical reasoning and decision making and help with developing these skills. The students enjoyed having expert advice on the management of elective conditions and trauma affecting the upper limb PNG has a large volume of severe trauma due to bush knife (machete) and gunshot wounds.
The highlight of the course was the 4 day microsurgery workshop each afternoon. Our students went from complete novices to being able to do a nerve repair using a “chicken Maryland” model in 15 minutes. The chicken sciatic nerve is the same diameter as a human digital nerve in a finger. PIOA is very grateful to Dr. Graham Gumley for leading this part of the course. The students were assessed with a written examination on the final day of the course.
Overall the 3-week module was intense, and it was obvious the students were stimulated to learn. The students are now already reading ahead to prepare for the next module on Knee and Foot and ankle to be held in Kundiawa, PNG, commencing on 29 July 2018.
Our thanks to the staff and patients of the Modilon Hospital, Madang and the Madang Lodge Hotel for the use of the Conference room and for allowing us to conduct the course there. Our special thanks to the staff of Madang Lodge Hotel who provided nutritious food for the duration of the course and made us feel at home. Finally, this module would not have been possible without the generous financial support from Wyss Medical Foundation, AO Alliance Foundation and South Pacific Projects.
PIOA is pleased to welcome Dr. Juvencio Dias from Timor Leste. He is our first trainee from Timor and is based in Dili. Juvencio is fluent in 6 languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Bahasa, Tetun and his local language. He is a quiet but very hardworking student.
PIOA will faciliate supervision visits by Dr. Matthew Sharland who is based close by in Darwin.
PIOA is pleased to welcome Dr. Haynes Rasin our first trainee from the autonomous region of Bougainville in PNG. Haynes is an experienced general surgeon who has worked in Bougainville for many years. Patients with trauma make up a large part of his surgical workload. He was very pleased to be able to take a supply of implants back with him after the course.
PIOA facilitates the provision of high quality, low cost implants from India and China and encourages hospitals to purchase these implants in order to develop local systems that are self reliant rather than relying on constant donors.
PIOA will facilitate a supervisory visit to Haynes after the August module. Dr. Nik Friederich from Switzerland will visit Haynes and help advise him on how he can further develop the orthopaedic service in Buka.
PIOA welcomes Dr. Viola Kokiva from Kavieng in the Islands region of Papua New Guinea(PNG). Viola is our first female trainee. She has recently completed her Part 1 exam in Port Moresby. Viola said she found the first week of the course very hard. By the end of the third week she was glad she persevered and was proud of the new skills she had gained. This included learning microsurgery skills in nerve and artery repair.
Viola was also the recipient of a generous grant from medical students from the UK who have provided her hospital with funding for orthopaedic implants. PIOA facilitates the provision of high quality, low cost implants from India and China and encourages hospitals to purchase these implants in order to develop local systems that are self reliant rather than relying on constant donors. Viola will pay for half the cost of her implants and the grant from Aruni Mathyalakan and her friends in the UK will cover the other half. PIOA is grateful for their generous gift.