Engaging surgeons among clinician-scientists

Since completion of the Human Genome Project at the turn of the century, there have been significant advances in genomic technologies together with genomics research. At the same time, the gap between biomedical discovery and clinical application has narrowed through translational medicine, so establishing the era of personalised medicine. In bridging these two disciplines, the clinician-scientist has become an integral part of modern practice. Surgeons and surgical diseases have been less represented than physicians and medical conditions among clinician-scientists and research. Here, we explore the possible reasons for this and propose strategies for moving forward. Discovery-driven personalised medicine is both the present and the future of clinical patient care worldwide, and South Africa is uniquely placed to build capacity for biomedical discovery in Africa. Diverse engagement across clinical disciplines, including surgery, is necessary in order to integrate modern medicine into a developing-world contextualised perspective.

Lessons learned from the casualties of war: battlefield medicine and its implication for global trauma care

According to the Global Burden of Disease, trauma is now responsible for five million deaths each year. High-income countries have made great strides in reducing traumarelated mortality figures but low–middle-income countries have been left behind with high trauma-related fatality rates, primarily in the younger population. Much of the progress high-income countries have made in managing trauma rests on advances developed in their armed forces. This analysis looks at the recent advances in high-income military trauma systems and the potential transferability of those developments to the civilian health systems particularly in low– middle-income countries. It also evaluates some potential lifesaving trauma management techniques, proven effective in the military, and the barriers preventing these from being implemented in civilian settings.