28 Feb, 2018

I was asked to write a short review of my year as an Artro fellow in Lyon under the superb tutelage of Tarik Ait Si Selmi, to give applicants some information about what to expect if they are successful in applying for this program. I was a fellow at Centre Orthopédique Santy and the Hôpital Privé Jean Mermoz. Overall, the Artro fellowship was an excellent program and you will be extremely well trained coming out of this program. The advantages of this fellowship include Tarik Ait Si Selmi, Operative experience /Volume, Academic conferences, Research experience, Lyon/Alps.

Tarik Ait Si Selmi: Tarik was not only a great mentor but by the end of the year a very dear friend.
From the moment you arrive he makes you feel welcome and very much part of his team. As a native from Ireland I was  concerned that my rather ‘average’ French language skills would limit my fellowship experience. However as Tarik is always keen to improve his already exemplary English this was no issue. Although my French slowly improved over the year I felt at no time either in a clinic, theatre session or at a social occasion that this limited my experience. In addition Tarik’s hospitality
and generosity extended to numerous extra-curricular activities including tennis, golf, skiing, weekly lunches and even an advanced sports car driving course !

Operative experience/volume: I have not seen a place that has more volume than the Hôpital Privé Jean Mermoz. The OR runs from 7.30am to 6.00pm. You work hard on the OR days with up to 10 cases. Tarik’s practice includes primary and revision hip arthroplasty, primary and revision TKR, unicompartmental knee replacement, knee osteotomy, and arthroscopy of the knee. You learn a lot of tricks that will help you and Tarik is a very skilled and yet relaxed teacher who loves to talk about the cases. The operative experience is excellent. By the time you leave you are very comfortable doing it on your own.

Academic conferences : You get to go to at least one Artro Corail Arthroplasty Course in Annecy, and a couple of other conferences throughout the year. Tarik is very flexible with time off for interviews, courses and travel around France.

Research : You are required to do at least one scientific paper during the year. There are plenty of potential studies and Tarik generates at least one new idea a week! There is a dedicated research administrator in Santy to help you with your work and Tarik and Michel Bonin have a research meeting every month for update.

Clinics : At the outpatient clinics you see a wide spectrum of hip and knee pathology. The clinics allow you to improve your clinical and diagnostic skills and Tarik sets aside enough time for discussion of all of the cases.

Lyon/Artro Name : I think another advantage of this fellowship is the Artro name and history of Orthopaedics in Lyon. Lyon and the Artro group are recognized all over the world. I continue to phone and email my contacts in Lyon for advice on the management of any difficult cases I encounter in my practice.

Lyon : Lyon is one of the most attractive cities in France. Its climate is ideal: warm in the summer and cold in the winter for skiing. With three young children there was plenty to keep them occupied and the city has 2 excellent international schools. The Parc de la Tête d’Or, which is absolutely stunning is perfect for a long walk on a sunny day and skiing is just two hours away at a host of Alpine resorts.

The public transport system is excellent, with numerous bus and metro lines to get you to work although I did find it easier to have a car. It is regarded as an epicenter of French gastronomy, as well as being a major business center. It has numerous boutiques and its residents including Tarik certainly don’t lack for sartorial elegance. However, it is very relaxed, and I found the French to be very welcoming and kind.

Overall, I cannot speak more highly of Tarik and the Artro Group it is an excellent fellowship.

Archbold POOLER