Telecommunications and air-travel have shrunk the world, and the applications of the internet are increasing. Medline is there to be accessed by every doctor. National and international meetings get larger each year, often using multiple plenary sessions to cater for every surgical interest. Some might think these developments render redundant such an old-fashioned notion as organised visits to other hospitals, when so much information is also available through book, journal, CD-ROM and computer screen.
The experience of the TSS is somewhat different. A surgeon’s desire and availability to travel may be limited by the expense and time involved and by the pressure of his or her other commitments, particularly if there is a young family.
Against this must be set enduring friendships, the possibility of relaxation away from the stress of the surgical workload, the mixing of business with pleasure and of surgeons of all ages, and the unique insights that accrue
from meeting other surgeons on their home territory and watching them at work.
Whatever the future holds for surgical travelling groups as a whole, there is no doubt that the three-quarters of a century for which the Travelling Surgical Club/Society has been in existence has given enormous intellectual stimulation and pleasure to its members. For that we must thank our hosts most sincerely.