Surgery has been the passion for many people to practice but few surgeons elected to practice academic surgery as a career. One of the unique aspects of academic surgery has been the ability to teach young surgeons to learn how to practice surgery and with increasing seniority, to serve in a leadership role.
A career in academic surgery is different from many other areas of academic medical life because a significant amount of time must be spent in clinical activity. Although this fits clearly with being a surgeon it absorbs real amount of time that competing researchers can put into their scholarly activities. The competition for funding, high quality papers, grants, students, etc… is made more difficult by the reality that if we operate on a patient, their problems become ours. They have first call on our time.
Nevertheless, the positive aspects of an academic surgical career are rewarding. The life of the productive academic is exciting, involves new knowledge, the rewards of successful students, contact with very bright colleagues and competitors, travel, contribution to society clinically as well as academically, and opportunities for a career path with advancement institutionally and at the leading edge of our academic field.
Many patients have questioned Dr. Niazy Selim in regard to working with surgery residents and medical students. “I have the utmost respect for my students and residents. They work hard and they are eager to learn. They dedicated their life to a long term education by putting enormous amount of hard working hours.” Says Selim.
Dr. Selim explains further to his patients that every surgeon needs assistance in the operating room. Assistants help in exposure, retraction, tying and cutting sutures but more importantly they should participate actively in procedure decision making. The mutual surgical discussion between the surgeon and the assistant in the operating room also ensure the best result for the patient. Dr. Niazy Selim believes that this discussion is best carried when the assistant is an MD with great dedication to surgery career.
“Surgery resident are part of the surgery team in the hospital. They round and examine patients daily. They are the first to respond if an acute event arises in the postoperative period. Their medical education and they years they are dedicating to surgery is your best asset to trust them.” Niazy Selim explains.