Smith & Nephew Orthopaedic Travelling Fellowship


In the late 1970's the SAOA discussed the need to recognise excellence amongst Orthopaedic registrars studying at South African Medical Universities. Under the strong influence of Prof Robbie Snowdonne, the notion of selecting the Country's top registrars and offering a mini fellowship to visit other teaching institutions in the country was formalised.  It was agreed that selection would rotate amongst the Universities with the Head of Department selecting the Registrar of choice. Smith & Nephew agreed to sponsor the fellowship making it possible for fellows to significantly broaden their skills and knowledge.

The first fellow, Dr Daneel Heyns, was selected by Prof Roelie Grabe of Pretoria. The late Chris Terreblanche who played a leading role in establishing the annual Fellowship dinner was a recipient in 1982.

More than 80 members are now part of this select group of surgeons. While a few of our members have sadly passed away and some have emigrated, the Fellowship has grown from strength to strength and the highlight is the annual dinner where fellows reconnect and learn from each other during the educational session and case studies. 

Undoubtedly this program has met all original expectations the SAOA tabled, and the prestige and quality of recipients has grown exponentially, with the fellowship producing many surgeons who have been extremely active in academic circles and profiled in private practice all over the world.  Fellows have also made substantial contributions at SAOA Exco level. Indeed past presidents of the South African Orthopaedic Association who are members of this select fellowship include Prof Mthunzi Ngcelwane (Travelling Fellow 1987); Prof Theo le Roux, (Travelling Fellow 1993); and Dr Jan de Vos (Travelling Fellow 1991).

Current Fellows

The 2014 Travelling Fellows are Dr Maritz Laubscher, Groote Schuur and Dr Alice Morule, Medunsa.
During their travels to orthopaedic units around the country they also gave talks on their research:

Dr Maritz Laubscher:
  • Subtotal capsulectomy for idiopathic chondrolysis of the hip
  • The outcome of end-to-end repairs in lacerated radial nerves
  • The accuracy of Gene X-pert PCR in spinal tuberculosis
  • Amputation rates in tibia fractures with vascular injuries
Dr Alice Morule
  • Gender equality in orthopaedics in South Africa
  • Clinical audit on tuberculosis of the spine
  • Epidural injections for lumbar backache

Institutions Visited
University of Limpopo, Dr George Mukhari Hospital; University of the Witwatersrand, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital; Chris Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto; Livingstone Hospital Port Elizabeth; University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg Hospital; University of the Free State, National Hospital in Bloemfontein; Smith & Nephew Headquarters, Westville, Durban and attendance at the Annual Registrar's Conference, Pietermaritzburg.

"The travelling fellowship was a fantastic opportunity for both of us. By visiting all the unit's across the country we met a lot of people, we saw wonderful work being done
and we learned that we all share the same challenges of a high trauma load, poor support from management, often suboptimal working conditions and slow anaesthetists...
But we are also blessed to be exposed to a wide variety of interesting pathology and to be able to learn from dedicated teachers in all our units."

"Thank you to the following people that made our trip possible: SAOA, in particular Lucia for all the travel arrangements, Our hosts across the country, Our departments and colleagues for allowing us time off and our families for their continued support."
Alice and Maritz

A word from Smith & Nephew

Mike Woods, Senior Director Orthopaedic Trauma and ASD State Sector, Smith & Nephew, Africa Region said:
"It is very satisfying to reflect on the calibre and achievements of the Orthopaedic Travelling Fellows. Smith & Nephew has the privilege of facilitating training which is geared to meet skill gaps in the industry, build expertise and help healthcare professionals to use our products safely and effectively.

"This is more than just about financial results. It is also about our commitment to ethical and responsible behaviour in everything that we seek to deliver. It is who we are and how we behave in meeting our responsibilities to people, society and the environment and the expectations of our stakeholders. We have leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine and Trauma and we believe we should also lead in education. This is why every year we provide training and education to thousands of healthcare professionals - surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, registrars and community healthcare staff."

The S&N Travelling fellows, selected by the SA Orthopaedic Association and sponsored by Smith & Nephew (Pty) Ltd

1981 Dr. Daneel Heyns, Vanderbijl Park
1982 Dr. Con Joubert, Bloemfontein
Dr. Chris Terreblanche, Deceased
1983 Dr. Jim Crosier, Cape Town
Dr. Hans Schrader, Pretoria
1984 Dr. Jaybal Naidoo, Durban
Dr. Andrew Swan, New Zealand
1985 Dr. Oeloff Badenhorst, Bloemfontein
Dr. Phillip De Muelenaere, Canada
1986 Dr. Maurice Paterson, Overseas
Dr. Jan Louw, Deceased
1987 Dr. Joe de Beer, Cape Town
Dr. Stan Matthews, New Zealand
Dr. Mthunzi Ngcelwane, Port Elizabeth
1988 Dr. Allan van Zyl, Bloemfontein
Dr. Marlene de Graad, Krugersdorp
Dr. Arthur Ledwaba, Polokwane
1989 Dr. Robert Fraser, Durban
Dr. Daan Botes, Paarl
Dr. Hendrik Pieterse, Johannesburg
1990 Dr. Wikus de Jager, United Kingdom
Dr. Faf Labuschagne, Pretoria
Dr. Ras Rasool, Durban
1991 Dr. Jan de Vos, Pretoria
Dr. Chris Coetzee, America
Dr. Evan Williams, Cape Town
1992 Dr. Deon Engela, Cape Town
Dr. Afzal Osman, Durban
1993 Dr. Rob McLennan-Smith, Durban
Dr. Pieter Botha, Randfontein
Dr. Theo le Roux, Pretoria
Dr. Mark Bloomfield, Overseas
1994 Dr. Adriaan van Zyl, Cape Town
Dr. Pradeep Makan, Cape Town
Dr. Ashwin Parbhoo, Durban
1995 Dr. Gerhard Greeff, Bloemfontein
Dr. Johan van der Westhuizen, Pretoria
Dr. Stefan Colyn, Pretoria
1996 Dr. Gerrard Killian, Overseas
Dr. Wynne Lieberthal, Johannesburg
Dr. Nelius Rossouw, Vredenburg
1997 Dr. Goodman Seyisi, Durban
Dr. Matodzi Mariba, Medunsa
Dr. Mark Kapnoudhis, Upington
1998 Dr. Corné Ackerman, Trichardt
Dr. Jan Lategan, Canada
Dr. Phillip Webster, Johannesburg
1999 Dr. Eddie D'Alton, Medunsa
Dr. Robert Dunn, Cape Town
Dr. Desmond Kodi, Durban
2000 Dr. Alex Skinner, Windhoek
Dr. Andrew Barrow, Johannesburg
Dr. Etienne Coetzee, Pretoria
2001 Dr. Ravine Yachad, Australia
Dr. Stewart Dix-Peek, Cape Town
Dr. Paul Thosago, Medunsa
2002 Dr. Robbie Denkema, United Kingdom
Dr. Michael Barrow, Johannesburg
2003 Dr. Attie Cloete, Johannesburg
Dr. Steve Matshidze, Medunsa
2004 Dr. Jacques du Toit, Tygerberg
Dr. Mark Cvitanich, Australia
2005 Dr Phillip van Sittert, Bloemfontein
Dr Robert Barrow, Johannesburg
2006 Dr Frans Birkholtz, Pretoria
Dr Haroun Mahomed, UK
2007 Dr Hlabane Sithebe, Medunsa
Dr Richard von Bormann, Cape Town
2008 Dr Alletta Basson, Stellenbosch
Dr Paul Ferrao, Wits
2009 Dr Richard Finn, Bloemfontein
Dr Navendran Naidoo, Umhlanga
2010 Dr Mboneni Radzilani, Medunsa
Dr Hilgaard Visser, Pretoria
2011 Dr Ben Garrett, Cape Town
Dr Dirk van der Spuy, Stellenbosch
2012 Dr Franciscus Peters, Pretoria
Dr Wouter van Graan, Bloemfontein
2013 Dr Charles Serfontein, Pietermaritzburg
Dr Lusanda Bomela, Pretoria
2014 Dr Alice Morule, Medunsa
Dr Maritz Laubscher, Groote Schuur
2015 Dr M Thiart, Tygerberg
Dr N Sikhauli, Park Town
2016 Dr JD Arndt, Bloemfontein
Dr NF Dlamini, Durban
2017 Dr M Roussot, Groote Schuur
Dr S Mkhize, Medunsa
2018 Dr M Potgieter, Tygerberg
Dr MA Manjra, Steve Biko