Message from UDOTS Director, Mr Arpit Jariwala

Well, it’s nearing the end of the year and what a year 2020 has been! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last twelve months have been unprecedented, unremittingly challenging, and ultimately incredibly sad for some.

I’d like to thank our students for their understanding of the situation we all find ourselves in and to praise them for adapting to new ways of learning and continuing with their studies. Hopefully, due to vaccine developments and continued vigilance, we can all return to more traditional ways of learning when the situation allows.

And what can say about my fantabulously talented UDOTS Team? You should all be immensely proud of what you’ve achieved these past ten months during restrictions. You’re a talented group of individuals but our greatest strength and accomplishments will always be as a Team. You’ve never failed to impress me with how you’ve coped with the challenges, both physically and mentally, this year has thrust upon us. It’s been a difficult year whether coping with the pandemic, learning new software and systems, and adapting to home working and all the challenges that brings. Each of you has worked tirelessly in continuing the success of UDOTS and I’d like to thank you for your Herculean efforts in ensuring we continue to function effectively on all levels.

Mr Steve Parsons, former President of the UK Foot & Ankle Society and our MCh (Orth) External Examiner, very nicely summed up the immense work that the UDOTS team has undertaken given COVID-19 disruption to ensure students were not disadvantaged when he said:

... it seems as if COVID-19 did not happen in UDOTS.”

So, thank you all.

Despite the pandemic, UDOTS has once again had a positive and productive year. We successfully earned Royal College of Surgeons of England reaccreditation for two of our programmes. The Master of Orthopaedic Surgery (MCh Orth) and MSc in Orthopaedic Science have been re-accredited for a further three-year period.

We've excelled in online teaching not just locally but internationally. Webinars are now commonplace and UDOTS has participated in and organised many events over the last year in partnership with our valued worldwide Alumni. It's a positive situation and one that I’m sure will continue to be the norm, negating the necessity for travel and allowing the worlds of orthopaedics, biomechanics and sports to regularly run remote gatherings and to collaborate and share knowledge.

I’m glad to say that several PhDs have been completed over the course of this year and whilst it’s fantastic to see students’ success it’s also bittersweet as we have to say adios to individuals who've become close to everybody at UDOTS. We wish our new Doctors every success with their future careers and hope they’ll stay in touch and keep us updated with their progress.

Talking of the new year ahead, the renewed MRes in Sports Biomechanics and Rehabilitation programme, led by Dr Andrew J. Murphy, will be launching in 2021. I thank Andrew and Dr Tim Drew for all their efforts in steering this programme through the University accreditation process. I’d also like to especially thank Andrew for helping UDOTS quickly adapt to on-line teaching.

We look forward to building upon our initial successes of collaboration hyper-drive and aim to further engage in research and teaching with the School of Bioengineering, CAHID, DIHS (Surgical Skills), National Education for Scotland (NES), SICOT (World Orthopaedic Association), Indian Universities and more recently with the SCORE (Scottish-wide research collaborative).

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the School of Medicine and especially our Dean, Professor Rory McCrimmon, Professor Chris Barratt, Dr Stella Howden and Professor Faisal Khan for their constant support of UDOTS.

I also thank all of our NHS Tayside colleagues for continuing to support UDOTS and its students over the past year which has been invaluable.

Finally, Muhammad Hussain (UDOTS Laboratory Technician) and his wife welcomed a new baby boy into their family. Baby Humza Hussain was born on Sunday 13th December and all are doing well. This fantastic news has cheered us all up at the end of this difficult year.

So once again, I thank you all for your efforts. I couldn’t want for a better Team. May you and your loved ones have a happy and safe 2021.

Mr Arpit Jariwala
MS Orth, MCh Orth Dundee, MRCSEd, FRCSEd T&O, MD
UDOTS Director