July 2012 Rotterdam/Montreux - Theogren Balakrishnan (Durban, South Africa)

“I was extremely privileged and grateful to be given the opportunity to participate in the DAPFRS fellowship. It is a very well organized fellowship with its goals aimed purely at improving the surgical skills and knowledge for those who have just completed their residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The course handbook is well written and provides participating fellows with all the necessary course information and details. The fellowship is structured to maximize the training and exposure for the various sub-specialities of plastic and reconstructive surgery which include craniofacial , breast, head and neck, microsurgery as well as cosmetic surgery. There is a choice of visiting at least six different hospitals to observe and assist in surgery. A weekly timetable with operating lists of all the hospitals are emailed to all fellows and depending on your preference, you can chose to attend the surgeries involving your field of your interest. The focus is on individual fellows to utilize their time wisely and see as much as they can. The standards of training in the fellowship is extremely high and often reading prior to surgery would benefit fellows. The consultants are friendly and are always willing to teach and answer questions. Language was not a problem and the weekly meetings were held in English even if there was only one fellow present. The one on one supervision and humility of the consultants involved in the program was truly inspirational. The knowledge and skills shared has definitely made me more confident in my approaches and techniques. The second part of my fellowship was done in picturesque Montreux under the supervision of Dr Michel Pfulg. A cosmetic surgeon for more than thirty years, Dr Pfulg has selflessly imparted his knowledge and skills. The cosmetic surgery training I received was invaluable and I was honoured to work with a surgeon of this caliber. A special thanks goes out to Dr J van der Meulen, the course coordinator, whose easy going and professional demeanor made the fellowship an enjoyable and memorable experience. His mentorship enabled me to be a better surgeon and for that I am extremely thankful. I would strongly recommend this fellowship to young plastic surgeons who aim to improve their skills, knowledge and consolidate their training.”

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