Three JGH doctors reunite with former fellows in Israel
For years, doctors from around the world have been coming to the JGH for fellowship training in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. However, not long ago, the direction was reversed, as the department’s Chief and two of his JGH colleagues visited Israel to see how much their former fellows have accomplished.
“It was a wonderful experience,” says the Chief, Dr. Michael Hier, of the nine-day trip he took in early November with Dr. Alex Mlynarek and Dr. Richard Payne. “It was very gratifying to see the roles that the fellows now play, and this really validated what we’ve done.”
“We also shared our expertise with the fellows’ Israeli colleagues,” adds Dr. Mlynarek, “and we learned from them as much as they learned from us. It was a great learning experience for all of us.”
When doctors come to Otolaryngology for training as fellows, they are already fully qualified as specialists, but are taking sub-specialty training—usually for two years—in head and neck surgical oncology and reconstruction.
While several fellows have come from Israel, the current fellow in Otolaryngology will return to New Zealand when his two-year stint ends in July 2018, and he will be replaced by a fellow from Qatar. Previous fellows have also come from India and Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Hier says he and the other two JGH doctors lectured to the former fellows and their colleagues in Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa and Herzliya, culminating in their involvement in the annual conference of the Israeli Head and Neck Society in the Galilee.
It was a trip that the JGH doctors had thought of making for some time, but it was only this year that the circumstances and logistics all lined up.
“They didn’t leave us unattended for a moment,” says Dr. Hier. “Even when we weren’t involved in professional activities, they were either sightseeing with us or eating with us in their homes. They even hired professional guides to make sure we saw Jerusalem and Yafo properly. The way they expressed their gratitude was to treat us like family.”