Click on a town or city to see the details of the TSS visit
|1972 Westminster Hospital and the Royal Army Medical College, Millbank|
|1975 St Bartholomew’s Hospital|
|1977 Royal Postgraduate Hospital, Hammersmith|
|1980 Guy’s Hospital1983 Middlesex Hospital|
|1987 Homerton Hospital and St Mark’s Hospital|
|1999 Northwick Park / St Mark’s|
|2006 The Charterhouse (Enthusiasms – see text)|
|2009 Northwick Park / St Mark’s|
|2014 St Mary’s (Imperial)|
|2016 St George’s|
The initial aim to meet foreign surgeons has been maintained annually apart from notable exceptions. There was a hiatus due to the Second World War, the visit to Israel in 1977 was cancelled as was the one in 1985 to Dallas (both possibly because of the expense), and most recently the plug was pulled on the visit planned (and arranged) to Greece in 1991 because casualties were expected to be received in UK hospitals from the Gulf War.
The pattern of our home visits, held every year since 1966, is now well-established. We arrive on a Thursday in late September and visit one or more local sites of interest that afternoon before an informal reception and supper. We usually stay as a group in one hotel, or occasionally two. Attendance is normally well over 30 and sometimes up to 90, offspring and rival meetings permitting.
The Friday all-day scientific meeting is highly instructive, embracing a wide spectrum of topics, mostly but not exclusively surgical, and is usually held on hospital (or occasionally hotel) premises. The programme now includes the annual TSS Registrar’s Prize (a handsome cheque), to encourage original work and professional presentations which are required to be succinct and to time. Operating theatre visits, case presentations and radiology quizzes are infrequent components of contemporary visits but there is often a final lecture on a topic of general interest that might catch the imagination of our whole group, the ladies joining the surgeons for this after a day visiting local places of interest to them. The black-tie evening begins with a reception followed by a group photograph and culminates in our annual dinner attended by an outside speaker, often of repute and rarely surgical unless of exceptional wit!
On the Saturday morning there is the Annual Business Meeting if it was not held the day before; much is debated, and approved new members are formally welcomed. Finally there is a visit to a site of outstanding interest ending with an informal lunch for those who stayed the course.
The fourteen original members of the Junior Surgical Club would surely be proud to see how far their intention “to meet once a year at a place and time to be decided at the previous meeting” has now been extended, in both time and place. Perhaps even Lord Moynihan would agree that of all his “boys” and travelling groups – he promoted at least four of the latter – the Travelling Surgical Society has been the most active, at least in maintaining those links that our founder-members held dear and in promoting ourselves and reviving our lessons and memories through annual Reports and most recently on the comprehensive web-site (now www.travellingsurgeon.org). A lot has been achieved since 1924 when that inaugural meeting in Leeds set the stage for a few British surgeons to visit their peers throughout the world.
Image above is of the members and partners at the Middlesbrough meeting