Global Partnership Trainee Committee
Committee Terms of Reference
Welcome to The British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH) Global Partnership Trainee Committee. We are a group of UK-based trainees from either Orthopaedic or Plastic Surgery backgrounds with an interest in both Hand Surgery and Global Surgery. The Global Partnership Trainee Committee works closely with the consultant-led BSSH Global Partnership Committee. This committee is comprised of Consultant Hand Surgeons who have an interest in global surgery and work closely with Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs).
The BSSH Overseas Trainee Committee members:
- Haneen Abed Global Partnership Trainee Committee Chair 2021-2023
- Denise Osei-Kuffour Committee Member 2021-2023
- Suzanne Thomson Committee Member 2021-2023
- David Bodansky Committee Member 2022-2024
- Harry Benjamin-Laing Committee Member 2022-2024
- Parvathi Varma Committee Member 2023-2025
- Thomas Bochmann Committee Member 2023 - 2025
- Rebecca Nicholas Committee Member
Haneen Abed - Chair
ST5 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
West Midlands Deanery
I am currently a Plastic Surgery Registrar in the West Midlands Deanery and I have a keen interest in global surgery. I have spent some time in Lower-Income and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) volunteering and I am keen to collaborate with like-minded individuals in forming strong links with trainees abroad, sharing knowledge base with the hope to maximise educational opportunities around the globe.
Denise Osei-Kuffour - Vice Chair
ST6 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
I am currently a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Registrar in the London Deanery and the Vice Chair of the BSSH Global Partnership Trainee Committee. I am passionate about global surgery and interested in surgical innovation and academic research. I have previously been involved in global health initiatives in Kenya and Honduras. I am currently involved in a collaborative research project with the RCSI, COSECSA and GASOC. One of my roles in the committee is to help increase trainee engagement in global hand surgery initiatives.
Suzanne Thomson - Research Lead
ST8 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
I completed my MRC funded PhD in translational tissue engineering at the University of Glasgow Centre for the Cellular Microenvironment and Umea Universitet. In my clinical work I enjoy the variety of reconstructions we provide for our adult and paediatric population. I enjoy running, being outdoors and sharing enthusiasm for progression within our exciting speciality.
Hand, Upper Extremity and Trauma Fellow
Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Currently a Fellow at Great Ormond Street Hospital, I completed my training in Mersey in the UK, with Fellowships in North America, Queen Victoria Hospital, Chelsea. In 2023, I won the best examination in the European Hand Diploma and I am currently undertaking the BSSH Hand Diploma.
In 2019, I participated in the BSSH overseas trip to Ethiopia, delivering a course on hand trauma to local surgeons. This allowed me to understand the impact that these trips can offer both the faculty and the host institutions which was an important and formative experience in my career. I am looking forward to the opportunity to help other UK surgeons undertake a similar trip and widen the number of countries that can participate.
ST8 in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery
North West/Mersey Deanery
I am currently an ST8 in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery in the Northwest(Mersey) Deanery. I have a keen interest in Global Medical education, Social Media and Digital communications. I have a Youtube channel which has over 9000 Subscribers in over 100 countries that provides animated Orthopaedic education. My role in the committee is to be help highlight the wonderful work being done by the BSSH all over the world.
BSSH Trainee Global Partnerships Committee/BFIRST Trainees Liaison Co-ordinator
Rebecca completed her Plastic Surgery specialty training in London, followed by the European Diploma in Hand Surgery and a period of Hand Fellowship at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, prior to moving to the United States to be with her family. She is involved with the research and teaching programmes within the Division of Hand Surgery at New York University Hospital, whilst remaining actively involved with both the BFIRST Trainees and BSSH Global Partnerships Committees.
She served as the President of the BFIRST Trainees Committee in 2020/21, and has been involved with BFIRST since its conception in 2014, when she co-founded the trainee membership body, BFIRST Trainees. She went on to launch the BSSH Overseas Trainee Committee in 2020, of which she is past Chair.
Having previously spent periods of time working in India, Uganda and South Africa, she is passionate about Global Hand & Reconstructive Surgery and is keen to promote opportunities for early exposure to working within low and middle income countries, forming lasting partnerships, and to see global surgery formally incorporated in the UK Plastic Surgical Training Curriculum.
ST3 Plastic Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery
I am currently a Plastic Surgery Registrar in the East Midlands Deanery with a passion for global surgery, having spent some time volunteering in hospitals in rural India. I believe that accessible hand surgery can have a significant impact on individuals’ lives. However, there are a multitude of barriers that can prevent this, including limited resources and infrastructure. Within the committee, I am excited to work with other members of the team to address these challenges, including identifying funding opportunities and implementing sustainable solutions that can create a lasting impact.
TIG Hand Fellow
Having completed orthopaedic training across Yorkshire and East of England deaneries, I am now a post CCT TIG hand fellow in Exeter. I have recently been engaged with the BSSH LION project in Malawi, as one of the first trainees to visit and develop the service. By joining the committee I aim to engage further with projects in LMICs, providing education and improving access to hand surgery
Rowa Taha - former Chair
NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow & Trauma & Orthopaedics Registrar ST5
Presently on sabbatical
I am an ST5 in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery in the Severn Deanery, and I am also an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow. My passion for global surgery was ignited after witnessing the wide disparity in healthcare provision during my elective in Sudan, gaining first-hand experience of the challenges of delivering equitable healthcare with limited resources. I have continued my passion throughout my training through membership of organisations such as World Orthopaedic Concern (WOC), working with the Sudanese Doctors Society to support the development of healthcare initiates in Sudan, as well as undertaking work at the Cure Hospital, in Malawi. As a member of the Overseas Committee, I am committed to improving the delivery of surgical care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) through developing collaborative partnerships with our trainee colleagues in LMIC, building sustainable surgical services and empowering the local community through educational courses and training.
Consultant Hand Surgeon
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust
The overseas trainee committee was a newly formed committee within the BSSH when I joined. It gave me the opportunity to be involved in committee work with the BSSH as well as allow me to interact and meet like-minded training hand surgeons with a passion for overseas work. I have had the opportunity to feed into the main committee with our ideas and work. Medical education became a big theme during COVID and I along with all members of the trainee committee was involved helping deliver online webinars. I would thoroughly recommend involvement with the committee to anyone with a passion for overseas work.
Alex Vaughan - Education and Training Lead
Senior Hand and Wrist Fellow
Guys & St Thomas', London
Maximising educational opportunities through international collaboration is a fantastic opportunity to disseminate educational resources to hand surgery communities around the globe, whatever their resources. I would like to build a positive culture of engagement, and develop global relationships in hand surgery. I believe that the BSSH overseas committee should strive to broaden access to education in hand surgery, and provide a focal point for similar national associations, as we emerge from the COVID pandemic.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Registrar
North West Deanery
I have a keen interest in overseas hand and plastic surgery having worked in hand surgery units in South Africa, India and Sweden. I have undertaken several fundraising events for overseas surgical work, most recently helping to raise over £1,000 for the next BFIRST Zimbabwe visit with Bolton Lever Rotary Club.
I hope to improve the accessibility to overseas hand surgery for UK trainees and conversely, help improve the experience of overseas partners when visiting UK hand surgery units. I saw joining the BSSH overseas trainee committee as a great opportunity to do this by acting as a voice for trainees in the main overseas committee and helping to facilitate communication and fellowships for overseas partners.
1. Committee Goals
Our aim, alongside the main BSSH Overseas Committee, is to support overseas work by acting as the coordinator of long-term sustainable BSSH overseas projects. This will include identification of projects, providing project leadership, liaison with the hosts and collaborating organisations and provision of pump priming funding.
As a team, we will support long-term sustainable projects. The focus will be on educating local surgeons and their wider surgical teams and supporting them to develop hand surgery services in their country. We will be doing this in a number of ways including, virtual teaching through webinars which is linked with LMIC’s, organisation of courses and once COVID-19 settles, travelling to LMIC’s and undertaking face to face projects.
2. How to get involved
We are keen to involve any trainees who share the same visions and values, and are interested in global surgery. There are lots of ways to get involved with the committee as a trainee, and often it is through participating with projects that will be accessible to medical students and junior doctors with an interest in hand surgery.
Click here to view our current projects that are ongoing
3. Links to Key Global Surgery Organisations
Click here to view a list of useful links
4. Educational Resources
Click here to view some useful educational resources that may of interest
5. Courses in Global Surgery
Click here to view some relevant courses
6. Research opportunities within Global Hand Surgery
Click here to view some useful papers
7. Case Studies - Global Hand Surgeons
Click here to view a collection of case studies, podcasts and video interviews given by global hand surgeons
8. Further training opportunities
Click here to view the opportunities