ASJ Anniversary

23 THE GLEANER | SUNDAY, MARCH 3, 2019 ASSOCIATION OF SURGEONS IN JAMAICA 60TH ANNIV SARY FEATURE: THE SUNDAY GLEANER MAGAZINE | MARCH 3, 2019 B Y NOW, if you are reading this, it means you have read a lot about the Association of Surgery in Jamaica (ASJ) and should be versed on its birth and history, but the question must always be asked, you know where we came from but where are we heading? Over the past two decades, the number of surgeons in the associ- ation has tripled, for reasons men- tioned earlier in this supplement, and this has resulted in an increase, in the number of female surgeons, more specialists in all surgical fields and an increase in the number of young surgeons. All of the above are illustrated in the executive council of the association, which has a good mix of young and older surgeons; female council members, with one holding the post of secre- tary; and many different specialties being represented over the last 10 to 15 years. While the association continues its role, administration and surgical education, its role in outreach had fallen behind. From time to time the association would visit rural hospitals to aid those surgeons remotely placed another view in the management of surgi- cal patients. This programme has become regularised. Another mile- stone of the association was the res- urrection of the annual surgeon’s party. This event used to be hosted by The University Hospital of the West Indies Department of Surgery and was held annually around the Christmas season. It was funded by surgeons, along with the depart- ment. However, its time came to an end in the early part of the 2000s. In 2017, the ASJ decided to resurrect the event, but with a twist. It would no longer be free, but would be held as an all-inclusive charity event, with all of the proceeds being donated towards a surgical cause. To add a further twist to differentiate it from the previously held surgical parties andmany other all-inclusive parties held across the island, live entertain- ment was included as well. Some members, of course, objected.“What do surgeons know about throwing parties?”some said. Well, based on the success so far, the council replied, “A lot!” In February of 2017, the inaugural staging of SCRUBS, ‘SCRUBS 1/0’, was held at the Senior Common Room’s grounds on the university campus, with live entertainment provided by one of Jamaica’s greats, Freddie McGregor. That year approximately $500,000 was raised for the Jamaica Cancer Society to aid in their fight against breast cancer. The following year, the event was held at the same venue with a crowd that doubled in size, and with increased corpo- rate sponsorship, $2,000,000 was handed over to the cancer society, thanks to Agent Sasco, who pro- vided the live entertainment last year. This year, the event promise to be even larger, and the hope is to surpass last year’s donation to the cancer society. So far, the prognosis for SCRUBS appears to be positive, and this year’s charity is still the Jamaica Cancer Society, in aid of their fight against prostate cancer. Hopefully, Tarrus Riley and friends can help us reach that goal. Dr Hugh A Roberts Consultant General Surgeon and Associate Lecturer (UWI) Kingston Public Hospital Where are we going? members of the medical team to exercise patience, compassion and real understanding, especially when a patient panics, not being quite certain of the eventual results of what might first appear a simple intervention but which might lead to an unexpected crisis. A truly traumatic and unforgetta- ble experience has taught me many life lessons as a surgeon sitting, even momentarily on the other side of the table. Dr Rajeev Venugopal Lecturer and Consultant Plastic Surgeon University Hospital of theWest Indies VIEW CONTINUED FROM 22 Articles on ‘Sinus Surgery’ and ‘Updates on Prostate Cancer’ can be viewed on our new website: