Start main page content

Hand of applause


International award for Wits surgeons

Two Wits medical professors have received an international award recognising their distinguished careers. The International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand (IFSSH) gave its Pioneer of Hand Surgery award to Professor Sydney Biddulph (MBBCh 1961) and Professor John Fleming (MBBCh 1962) in 2016.

Prof Biddulph qualified as an orthopaedic surgeon in 1966 and was consultant hand surgeon at the Johannesburg Hospital and Wits from 1971 to 2008, as well as being in private practice. He was the first surgeon performing hand surgery exclusively in South Africa. In addition to improving the lives of many patients, he has made an invaluable contribution to research, publications and teaching, and served the medical profession as President of the SASSH.

Prof Fleming has dedicated a lifetime of work to Wits and the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital Hand Unit, using his huge experience and knowledge to help patients and to train young surgeons. He conducted the first replant of a hand, and the first transplant of a toe to thumb, in South Africa.  He has also led the SASSH and presented papers at many congresses.

Both surgeons were noted for their innovative spirit and for inspiring others in the field.