Learning from others’ experiences is an important aspect of professional development in surgery. In a world where medical technology and knowledge are rapidly advancing and increasingly complex, the need to come together to share knowledge and insights has never been greater.
Each year this is accomplished at the Latin American Forum (LAF) and LAF Masters, two unique learning experiences from the Johnson & Johnson Institute that brought together more than 400 surgeons from countries across Latin America.
“Professional education can help patients benefit from the latest medical advances,” said Bete Murata, Senior Director, Latin America Education Solutions. “Through innovative educational experiences like the LAF and LAF Masters, the J&J Institute is helping surgeons gain exposure to new technologies that can improve surgical care in Latin America.”
Education, Training Across Surgical Specialties
The 2019 LAF and LAF Masters, held at Florida Hospital in Orlando, spanned eight days and provided education and training in five surgical specialties: bariatric, colorectal, thoracic, cardiovascular and gynecology. The scientific agenda and hands-on activities for each Forum Specialty was designed and led by an expert board of faculties. The curriculum includes a focus on new and minimally-invasive procedures and technologies that can be used to advance patient care.
“Minimally-invasive procedures offer new ways to solve old problems,” said Sergio Eduardo Alonso Araujo, MD, Professor of Surgery, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Faculty at LAF 2019 and Chairman of the LAF Masters Colorectal 2019. “LAF provides a level of meaningful interaction that allows us to go deep on the science and practical aspects of mastering these procedures so that we can enhance patient care.”
The attendees of LAF Masters are key opinion leaders in their respective countries, so the expectation is that they will share the learnings and knowledge they gain with other surgeons in Latin America.
Beyond the Procedure: Impacting Patient Lives
The theme of the educational program was “Beyond the Procedure,” to highlight the life-changing impact surgical innovation can have on patients. To reinforce this message, attendees were given the opportunity to witness an artist create string art portraits of two patients whose lives were transformed through surgical care. The portraits were made with 13 kilometers of Ethicon sutures.
“A key goal of the Johnson & Johnson Institute is to drive collaboration and peer-to-peer learning to advance the practice of surgery and help optimize clinical outcomes for patients,” said Rich Merklinger, Vice President, Global Education Solutions. “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to engage with such an impressive group of surgeon leaders from Latin America and we look forward to our continued collaboration.”