Two orthopaedic surgical registrars from the University of Padua Hospital in Italy have spent the past three months working and training with trauma and orthopaedic surgeons at Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital.

Alessandro Zornetta and Enrico Milan began their three month UK visiting fellowship in November, and have praised the hands-on, one-to-one training they have received from their consultant supervisors.

Enrico said: “Here we have one consultant per registrar and all the consultants are available every day to teach their registrars. In Italy there are many registrars learning from one consultant, so we work but we don’t learn as much.”

Alessandro added: “It’s really good here. We really appreciate the training style and there is a really good atmosphere between the consultants and the registrars.

“In Italy the training system is shorter and a bit more theoretical. We are junior doctors for only five years and during that time you do a lot of observing. Here you are allowed to do a lot more procedures. I would say that in Italy you would have to be a consultant for about five years before you got to the level of a first year consultant in the NHS.“

Derek Park, consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at Barnet Hospital, praised the contribution of the visitors.

He said: “These guys have been excellent. They are so enthusiastic and have engaged with the whole department; we have really enjoyed having them. It’s also been really useful to see our service from their perspective, and to learn how our training system differs from theirs.

“We definitely want to encourage more of these cross-cultural exchanges. Maybe next time we can send our registrars to Padua when Alessandro and Enrico are consultants there.”

Pinak Ray, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, added: “We learned a great deal about their training in Italy and I hope they are taking home fond memories of their stay.  I hope they come back as fellows again once they become consultants.”

Image: (L-R) Enrico Milan, Pinak Ray, Derek Park, Allessandro Zornetta

Notes to editors

Media contacts: or call 020 7317 7740

About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.

The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver and kidney transplantation, haemophilia, renal care, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, Parkinson's disease, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.

In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London. Read 'A bigger trust, a better future'.