2019 SLAOTI/POSNA TF - Bienvendio a Argentina - Day 5

Day 5 – Buenos Aires

Brinnnnnnnnnnnng!  After a short slumber, our alarms went off at 3:30 am in order to make it to the airport in time for our early morning flight to Argentina.  

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The flight was uneventful, but it took us nearly 1.5 hours to clear immigration.  We were picked up by a very sweet Italian driver and we checked into a small boutique hotel in the Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires.  Along the way, we learned from Wikipedia, that “As a melting pot city, Buenos Aires does not have a dominant architectural style, but rather a haphazard arrangement of cosmopolitan designs.  That’s why it is quite normal to see a Parisian-style mansion adjacent to an art nouveau tower or a Renaissance palace.”  Buenos Aires sits on the western shore of the Rio de la Plata, on the southeastern shore of South America.  We were picked up at the hotel by Dr. Juan Carlos Couto and Dr. Daniel Yedlin who treated us to a brief tour of the capital including the Plaza de Mayo, the Catedral Metropolitana, the Obelisco monument, and the Casa Rosada, the official seat of the executive branch of the federal government. 

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The five of us then had a leisurely lunch at a classic Argentine steak house, where we enjoyed various cuts prepared to perfection along with a glass of Malbec.  We discussed American and Argentine politics at great length, and recognized that many of the paradigms in American politics are occurring in parallel in Argentina.

After this hearty lunch, we traveled to FLENI, a specialty hospital devoted to comprehensive pediatric neurosurgical and neuro-orthopaedic surgery.  There are 8 orthopaedic surgeons at this institution that specialize in the care of children with neuromuscular disorders.  This group is led by Dr. Juan Carlos Couto, who specializes in spine surgery and is the past-president of SLAOTI. 

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Salil led the discussion of several case discussions on neuromuscular hip and spine pathology. 

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Coleen gave a dynamic presentation of the treatment of neglected club foot.  Apurva lectured on brachial plexus birth injury and Salil discussed selected thoracic fusions for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

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Our first day in Buenos Aires ended over dinner at Dr. Couto’s beautiful penthouse apartment where we took in expansive views of Buenos Aires and had the opportunity to view their extensive collection of art. 

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Dr. Couto’s wife, Claudia, prepared a delicious home-cooked meal.  The traveling fellows had an opportunity to unwind after a long day and enjoy the company of the Coutos as well as pediatric orthopaedic surgeons Dr. Eduardo Segal (Senior Partner FLENI) and Dr. Miguel Puigdevall (Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedics at Hospital Italiano). 

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As we reflect on our day, we are all particularly appreciative of Dr. Couto’s hospitality.  His warmth and attention reveals his commitment to fostering international relationships with orthopaedic surgeons.
 
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