Dr. Michal Mekel, an endocrine fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, MA, completed part of her training next to Prof Dimitris Linos’ scientific team at Hygeia Hospital in Athens last spring. Shortly before leaving for Boston after the completion of the one-month rotation, Dr. Mekel was interviewed by “Eis Hygeia” the Magazine of Hygeia Group, for the June issue.
Dr. Mekel, encouraged by Professors Andrew Warshaw, Surgeon-in-Chief of the Department of Surgery at MGH, and Richard Hodin, Surgical Director of the Crohns and Colitis Center at MGH, decided to spend a month in Greece to be trained next to Professor Linos, who is a Consultant in Surgery at MGH and academically belongs to Harvard Medical School as well. As part of her rotation, Dr. Mekel observed and participated in surgeries for thyroid disease, the parathyroid, adrenal and endocrine portion of the gastrointestinal tract (part of which concerns the surgical treatment of malignant obesity), as well as rounds and patient consultations.
Dr. Mekel stated that it was a very important experience for her, as it is significant for a new surgeon to have the opportunity to be exposed and trained by experienced professors that practice surgery in a different country. Dr. Mekel also had the opportunity to be exposed to different techniques and cases from Dr. Linos, such as the retroperitoneal endoscopic removal of adrenal tumors, a new laparoscopic adrenal surgery, which very few surgeons in the world apply.
«I hope the exchange program that has already been established by Professor Linos among students of Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital will be extended and introduced among surgeons who follow different subspecialties of surgery», said Dr. Mekel. Experiences like this confirm the increasing need for international education programs in surgery, offering new surgeons a scientifically and clinically valuable opportunity to be trained by recognized doctors practicing in another country, contribute their own knowledge to the institutions they visit and experience different cultural environments.