During my pre-graduate years and undergraduate university career I explored a wide range of clinical and non-clinical orientated medical career options in an effort to seek out my talents. This exposure began at school when I worked as a laboratory assistant for an Anatomic Pathologist. In my final high school year I worked as a nurse assistant in the medical and urology wards at a regional academic hospital, and then later as an operating room assistant.
During my university years I worked at several regional, and smaller missionary-type hospitals during vacations, assisting in as much as I was able in a wide variety of specialties, which helped to pay for medical studies and gain exposure. I was involved with various epidemiological research studies, community outreach programs and voluntary community service in both clinical and non-clinical societies during university.
I spent various elective periods with surgeons and plastic surgeons at university, which stimulated me tremendously to the academic future and research possibilities in the dynamic subject of plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as its sister subjects hand surgery and cleft-craniofacial surgery both of which I was fortunate enough to be exposed to.
During my Intern year I spent six months attending the different surgical specialties, and had six weeks at plastic surgery. During my spare time I assisted a local cardiothoracic surgeon to extend my clinical experience.
In my first year after my internship year, I spent a month in Family medicine, three months in a busy tertiary centre’s surgical and medical intensive care unit, where at any one time there would be twelve acute patients under my care, simultaneously covering all resuscitation attempts in a 900-bed hospital.
I spent a year and a half working in the plastic and reconstructive surgery department of the same school, and gained valuable exposure to head and neck surgery, and cleft/ craniofacial surgery. During this time our department performed all microsurgical flap reconstruction as well as all acute craniofacial trauma repair.
During my time in Pretoria, after the Free-State department was closed, I spent half the time in reconstructive and cosmetic female plastic surgery and half in reconstructive and cosmetic male surgery, and pediatric plastic surgery. Extensive first hand surgical experience was gained here which was a great privilege, as I had assisted in so much in my previous position that I could really work on refining technique and skill in specific procedures. Garankuwa hospital was a 1500 bed hospital serving an area of approximately 12 million people. Also here after hours I assisted my senior colleagues often in their private cases. I spent the first quarter of 2000 in the surgery department, working both in pediatric and general surgery rotations, where I had wide exposure to a range of pediatric pathology and adult trauma.
Further documentation of accredited courses as well as my logbook of more than 500 surgeries performed, with an excess of a further 300 assistances is available on request.