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Flying high
  1. C Niek van Dijk
  1. Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Professor C Niek van Dijk, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1105AZ, The Netherlands; C.NiekvanDijk{at}

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One of my first international lectures was in 1995 at the combined congress of the International Society of the Knee (ISK) and the International Arthroscopy Association (IAA) in Hong Kong. The meeting was held with the intention of finalising the merger of the two societies and create one strong organisation: the International Society of Arthroscopy Knee surgery and Orthopaedic Sports medicine (ISAKOS). At the time, I was working as a young registrar at Orthopaedic Department of the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam and my department chief was René Marti, who was ISK’s president. “This is a good podium for you”, he told me. He invited me to give an instructional course lecture (ICL) on ankle arthroscopy. The title of the ICL was ‘Value of arthroscopy in other joints’. The other speaker in this ICL was one of the godfathers of orthopaedic sports medicine in the USA, Jimmy Andrews. I was obviously excited to be presenting together. As a fellow, I had visited Dr Andrews a few years before in Alabama. This fellowship had been instrumental for me. His skills to rotate several operating rooms simultaneously and still find the time to teach us, patiently answering all our questions, had amazed me. But most of all I still remember his energy, his generosity and overwhelming hospitality. He invited me to have dinner at his home proudly showing me his car collection before dinner. And it was not just Bentleys. Apart from the tips and tricks on anterior cruciate ligament intra-articular and extra-articular reconstructions, posterolateral and multiligament reconstructions, there was something much larger that I learnt. In Europe in those days, orthopaedics was just another specialty. But in America, it was quite simply the most prestigious discipline. It might have been the money of course, that Orthopods had the highest salaries and …

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