Fellowship News 

2016 TCH/SICOT Research Fellowship Report

Dhavalkumar J. Patel
SICOT Associate Member – Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India


I would like to thank SICOT and Dr Dormans for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to thank Ms Mary Riordan and Mr Cody Sanderson for their help and support during the communication to set up the process for me to be in the United States for this fellowship from India. It is a privilege and honour to write the experience report for my TCH/SICOT Research Fellowship at the Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH).

Texas is the largest state of the United States and the Texas Medical Center, where the TCH is located, is the largest medical centre of the United States. It is an advanced tertiary care hospital, clinical training and research centre and an academic hospital affiliated to the Baylor College of Medicine.

I joined as a research fellow on 1 April 2016 at the Texas Children’s Hospital. I met my mentor, Dr John P. Dormans, Chief of the Department of Paediatric Orthopaedics at TCH. Dr Dormans welcomed me with a humble smile and introduced me to the whole orthopaedics department. He guided me during my research projects to obtain a more positive outcome from my research work.

There was a department conference every Thursday morning where interesting post-operative cases were discussed and a discussion of the pre-operative clinical findings, X-rays and management decisions of cases. Dr Dormans has established a full working research department which consists of a research director, research fellow, research assistants, research coordinator, and so on.

The fellowship programme was well planned with an opportunity to attend clinics, academics and research. It was a valuable experience for me in terms of the research skills and communication skills to manage the patient. The knowledge and skills acquired from this fellowship is priceless and abundant and will help me in strengthening my capabilities. I observed a wide variety of paediatric orthopaedic cases during my fellowship in clinics and in OR during my research work which broadened my knowledge. I attended a Texas Children's Hospital's surgical research day where I had an opportunity to expand my knowledge with the latest research work from all over the hospital. I also attended the grand rounds.

I collaborated with faculties here at TCH in writing scientific clinical research projects and this was the best research experience for me. I worked with Dr Harris, Dr McKay, Dr Phillips and Dr Hill.  Their guidance and support was motivating and invaluable for me during the whole journey.

I worked with Dr Harris to be a co-investigator for one of her current research projects. She guided me with her knowledge and skills during the whole project. I also worked with Dr McKay. He taught me many new things and several new examination and operative details during clinics and OR observation. I also started an individual project with Dr Philips.

I would like to thank all the staff members of the Texas Children’s Hospital Clinical Care Center for their support during my fellowship and I would especially like to mention Ms Safford ShaTia, Ms Erica Gonzalez, Ms Ifeoma Inneh, Mr Cody Sanderson, and Ms Browne Theodora.

The fellowship was truly an experience which will remain in my memory for years to come. I will surely be using the experience received in my future orthopaedic practice, which I am sure will be beneficial to my patients and their families. 

I would like to express my gratitude to SICOT for this prestigious fellowship and would like to thank Dr Dormans for this wonderful opportunity.