International Triennial Conference of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

International Triennial Conference of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Professor Mackay recently attended and was a speaker at the International triennial conference of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. The conference programme encompassed a series of individual symposia which covered a broad range of topics in medicine, surgery, dentistry, travel medicine, podiatric medicine and more. A theme of sports medicine ran throughout the conference.


Above: From left – Jackie Mackay, Dr Tom Clanton, Mrs Kay Clanton.

It was an honour to present Dr Tom Clanton from the world famous Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado for an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. The Commonwealth Games chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin and two other distinguished international guests were also honoured by the college president, former Great Britain athletics coach Dr Frank Dick, who was himself recently awarded a CBE.


Above: The college historian showing the Audubon book to Jackie Mackay, Dr Scott Litin and Dr Tom Clanton

The reception after the graduation was held at the headquarters of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow on St Vincent Street in Glasgow city centre. Tom had met his wife in the library at Rice University in Texas and she was keen to visit the college’s archives. By a remarkable coincidence Dr Scott Litin of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota – who is a former roommate of Tom’s from Rice who he had not seen for 41 years – was also invited to the triennial meeting. Dr Robin Northcote, cardiologist and convener of the triennial meeting, re-introduced the two of them to each other and then introduced them to the college historian who kindly provided a colourful and informative tour of the library. Remarkably, the most treasured book in the collection is the a collector’s item which originally came from the States – a double elephant folio of Rare Birds of North America from 1827 by Jean Jacques Audubon. Purchased for just 40 guineas by the college in 1841, it is now worth millions, which perhaps explains why it is now kept in a case and only exposed once a month so that the curator (who wears cotton gloves for the task) can turn a single page. Amazingly, the book was open at the rice eagle!

The triennial meeting was a great success with Dr Clanton, Dr Litin and Dr Katherine Grainger among the excellent plenary speakers. Tom presented an overview of his clinic, including its staff, skills lab and research institute. They are now an academic powerhouse producing 250 papers per year. Dr Clanton referred to our successful collaboration on the internal brace and referred to his excellent clinical anatomy reference paper which provides landmarks for the internal brace. This is the lead article in this month’s American JBJS, which he co-authors with Dr Robert LaPrade, the world’s leading authority on ligament reconstructions, who is also a complex knee surgeon working at the Steadman Clinic.



Above: On Thursday night the Science Centre reception was a great hit with a very interactive environment for dinner.

The Friday session of the triennial meeting continued with a succession of excellent speakers. Professor Bill Ribbans shared his understanding of achilles tendon pathology and provided a lighter overview of the future role of the sports surgeon. As the son of a sports writer he continues to share his passion for all sports from his base in Northampton.

The Scottish speakers present offered a huge amount to the surgical steam, with Dominic Meek reviewing controversies in hip surgery. He reassured us of the procedure’s success, especially in younger males when the correct implant is used and inserted by an experienced surgeon. Bryn Jones gave an excellent update on the early experience with the innovative kiniespring which he had helped to pioneer in Glasgow with Mark Blyth.

The sports medicine community was well represented, with excellent updates on military medicine from Alastair Nicol, and rugby from Dr Gerry Haggerty, while Dr Michelle Jefferies gave an overview of Scottish sports medicine. Dr Brian Walker concluded with an excellent synopsis of his role as medical director of the Scottish institute of Sport as they prepare for the Commonwealth games. Dr Graeme McKillop gave an impressive analysis of the expanding area of sports imaging, while Dr Rod Jacques, president of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, reviewed orthobiologics.


Above: Susan Egelstaff, Gordon and Jackie Mackay at the Trienniel Ball at Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

The Triennial Ball at the stunning Kelvingrove Art Gallery provided an appropriate finale. Glaswegian badminton player Susan Egelstaff, a former Olympic and Commonwealth athlete, not only finished the surgical forum in style but continued to be a great hit with our international visitors at dinner especially the pleasantly eccentric Dr Litin. Dr Clanton, however, stole the show with his wife Kay after being brave enough to wear the kilt – an experience he is not planning to replicate at home. He hoped that photos would not get back to his former college team mates from Texas!

To see more photographs from the Triennial Conference click here to go to our galleries page

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