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Sydney Shoulder Research Institute - Visiting Fellows & Observers
2015 Visiting Observer

Diego Cuzmar

Santiago (CHILE)


2015 Visiting Observer


I was born on December 14th, 1986 in Santiago, Chile. I studied general medicine between 2005 and 2011 in the University of Chile. After finishing, I decided to become an Orthopaedic Surgeon so I stayed on at the same University until 2015 studying and practising. My main hospital is San Jose`s Clinical Hospital located in the Northern region of Santiago, which belongs to the public health system and mostly takes care of trauma patients. During my last year of training I decided to go to Australia for 3 months to do an observership in Shoulder and Elbow in Sydney.

My Observership Story

In May 2015 I began my observership in Sydney which was mostly located at Royal North Shore private and public Hospitals. I observed hundreds of surgeries and outpatient clinic sessions with 4 wonderful surgeons: Benjamin Cass, Allan Young, Prof David Sonnabend and Jeff Hughes. Besides their obvious knowledge, they were always willing to share moments with different people from all around the world, including me and take time to teach us in many areas.

My observership consisted in following these surgeons in theatre and seeing cases related to shoulder and elbow pathology – arthroscopic solutions, open surgeries, arthroplasty and its complications, upper limb fractures and difficult cases sent from all around Australia. I enjoyed meeting a great group of people working at their side, from the staff of their rooms Sydney Shoulder Specialists to the hospital staff.

I was able to follow some of the results of these surgeries, in a short term but also see some cases in the long term too thanks to some clinics hours. I enjoyed seeing the feedback of patients to them not just because of their outcomes but also thanks to their kindness.

I really loved being part of this group of surgeons where there is a nice atmosphere and work enviroment, good relationships between everyone and where you can see that everybody works for the patient.

I learned a lot, mostly in indications and ways of treating patients and was able to have many great discussions with the surgeons who guided and enriched my knowledge in many novel topics.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Lisa, Travis and Greg who were doing their fellowships at the same time I was there and they too were always willing to share what they`d learned.

Time went so fast and I felt like there was still so much to learn from everyone. I stayed with my girlfriend Nicole who was learning English while we were here. I must say that Sydney is a great city, with lots of green areas, it’s clean, the people are kind, there are amazing places to visit and it has a beautiful coast. All of this added to my obsevership experience and made these months a very important part of my life. I found that Australians in general, not just in the hospital, are always willing to meet you and share moments which made this experience more human and more special. My girlfriend and I fell in love with the whole Sydney experience, not just the educational but also the quality of life. I hope to retain what I’ve learned here and treat patients back home as I`ve seen them treated here. Thanks to everyone for giving me the chance of studying with such great people and I can`t finish without saying that I am also grateful for meeting Jasmin who was always there when I needed her.

Overall, this has been such a great experience, one of the highlights of my educational career.

Diego Cuzmar