Sommerlad to give 2022 Maliniac Lecturer
Bridging the Gap - Reducing Inequality in Surgery Globally

Brian Sommerlad, MD, past president of both the British Association of Plastic Surgeons (now BAPRAS) and the Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland, will give the annual keynote Maliniac Lecture during Plastic Surgery The Meeting in Boston.

The Maliniac Lecture will take place 1:30 - 2:00 p.m., ET, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022.

Dr. Sommerlad's lecture will focus on the enormous inequality and inequity in the availability, safety and the outcomes of surgery - both within and especially, between countries. While cleft surgery maintains a high profile, it has also provided both good and bad examples of attempts to reduce these inequalities.

This inequality may be due to failures of:

  • the medical profession to train appropriately and to give educational opportunities
  • national governments to create equitable health systems and prioritize health
  • the international community to address problems created by international divisions, conflict and the disparity between the rich and the poor world

Dr. Sommerlad was co-founder and now Chairman of CLEFT, a charity established in 2007 to fund the research activities of the Great Ormond Street / St Andrew's cleft lip and palate team. CLEFT also supports the team's activities in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Egypt and Iraq's Kurdish Region.

CLEFT aims to bridge the gap - physically in enabling surgical repair, scientifically in funding research which aims to bridge gaps in knowledge, and internationally in helping to bridge the gap between the care available to children born with clefts in underserved countries and the care available in countries such as the UK. (CLEFT is now a UK wide charity).

As an honorary consultant plastic surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Dr. Sommerlad has been involved in the developing the operating microscope for cleft palate repair, refining surgery for cleft palate muscle repair and correcting cleft palate repairs as an alternative to pharyngoplasty in some patients.

Dr. Sommerlad regularly visits countries where cleft lip and palate services are less well-developed, to work with local surgeons and to assist in their development of multi-disciplinary teams.

History of the Maliniac Lecture

Jacques Maliniac, MD, established the lectureship, providing funds to ensure that it would continue at each Plastic Surgery The Meeting. Its purpose was to introduce the society to outstanding speakers, who have made significant contributions to the field of plastic surgery, from around the world.

In fact, the only stipulation was that the speaker could live anywhere in the world but not in the United States. Hence, the goal was to expose the membership to people, ideas, and innovative techniques and procedures that they would not ordinarily have access to.