Jan 2015 Rotterdam/Montreux - Joao Martins (Lisboa, Portugal)

“As a personal statement I believe one can only grow as an individual and a surgeon by dedication, exchanging experiences and learning from each other. The DAFPRS Fellowship and the people responsible for it made me consider this experience as one of the most rewarding experiences I had in my professional life.

In first 3 months period in Rotterdam I had the opportunity to move between three Hospitals (each one dedicated to children, adult or cancer pathology) and two private clinics. Regarding the hospital work there is a rich and diverse surgical schedule and the fellow is free to choose in which facilities or operating rooms he wants to be. The main surgical areas I attended were craniofacial deformities (including cleft cases, craniosynostosis and facial palsy), hand surgery, and head and neck oncology. Every week there are free flap reconstructions concerning different body areas. In the operating room there is a very strong educational ambience. Although sometimes there is no chance for the fellow to scrub in, both the senior surgeons and the residents are interested in sharing their experience and teach you. I was positively surprised about the welcome feeling towards me.

In the private clinics the teaching is truly one-on-one and the energy and enthusiasm shared by Dr van der Meulen, Dr. Klepetko and Dr Stevens is as educational as the surgical knowledge itself. The one-on-on teaching and the level of surgical care performed are highly worthy.

The last period, at Laclinic was a different learning experience. The work here concerns aesthetic surgery with focus on face aesthetics and breast surgery. Other areas as body contouring are also practiced. Both Dr. Pfulg and Dr. Lê Huu are excellent teachers and the fellow will have the opportunity to attend the consultations, which was one of the most rewarding moments of my experience. I learned the importance of evaluating the indications not only for the surgical procedures but also for each technique. The fellow is invited to scrub in in every procedure and the one-on-one teaching strengthens the learning process. It was also very interesting to understand how private practice works. The entire staff of Laclinic was very helpful in making me feel welcome.

Besides the experience and knowledge I gained I am thankful for the good friends I made.”

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