“You guys look like a rock band!” That was the reply we received from Michael McBrayer after sending the first group photo of our AOSSM-ESSKA European Tour. Each year, AOSSM selects one godfather and three early-career orthopaedic sports medicine physicians to visit centers in Europe, Asia or South America. Chris Harner (UT Houston), our godfather, and the fellows Jon Dickens (Bethesda/Uniformed Services), Geoffrey Abrams (Stanford) and myself (Cleveland Clinic) met up in Washington, DC - energized and excited for what awaited in Europe.
Our first stop on the tour was Milan, Italy. Our gracious hosts Professor Matteo Denti and Professor Pietro Randelli rolled out the red carpet. We arrived in “Milano” around noon. It was very apparent that Profs. Randelli and Denti are expert hosts, as we were allowed to get settled in our hotel and take a much-needed nap before going out on the town. We first took a walking tour of beautiful downtown Milano. There were shops and small parties going on as part of the international furniture fair. The scenery was amazing. Next, we visited Piazza Del Duomo to see the Duomo Cathedral, an absolutely breathtaking church on the square.
We ended the night at a cozy restaurant with our hosts enjoying authentic Napoletana wood fired pizza. What a great introduction to Milano!
On Thursday, we began the day with a guided tour of the Autodromo Nazionale in Monza, one of Italy’s great Formula 1 racing venues. From the race track we hopped back in our convertibles and went to visit one of Italy’s most treasured destinations, Lake Como, one of the best lakes in the entire world.
The weather was phenomenal. Professor Randelli picked us up from shore by boat and Professor Denti served as first mate!
From Como Lake we went to visit the Cenacola Vinciano museum, home of the “The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci.” On Friday we were invited into the operating room to observe surgery with Professor Randelli, Dr. Paolo Ferrua and Dr. Paolo Arrigoni. We had the opportunity to see several knee and shoulder surgeries at the Gaetano Pini Instituto Orthopedico.
From surgery we went into our academic session where each of us spoke and heard excellent presentations from the staff physicians, residents and students from Milano.
The entire trip culminated with a wonderful farewell dinner with our new friends from Milano. First thing Saturday morning we headed to the airport to make our way to our second stop, Lyon, France.
More to come as we travel over the next several weeks!
Lutul D. Farrow, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
Cleveland Clinic Orthopaedic and Rheumatologic Institute
AOSSM gratefully acknowledges DJO Global for their support of the Traveling Fellowship program.