Welcome back to our Surgical Crossroads series. For this episode we’re at the top of the human body – let's see what neurosurgery is all about. It's is an exciting specialty, with the human brain, for many of us, representing a frontier into the unknown. It involves high stakes surgery with cutting edge technology and fast-paced developments, requiring truly committed individuals who are willing to be flexible in terms of job opportunities.
Our consultant this episode is Mr William Taylor, who was born and brought up in the West of Scotland, attended medical school at the University of Glasgow and qualified in 1984. He was appointed as a consultant neurosurgeon at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow in 1994, with an interest in spinal surgery, but has subsequently developed a subspecialty interest in skull base surgery. He has been the Scottish Neurosurgical Training Programme director, Neurosurgical National Selection lead, JCIE board chairman and is the lead for the JCFSE and JSF international exams in neurosurgery. He describes how he picked up neurosurgery somewhat by accident during his training, and was attracted to the specialty by the ability to make a straightforward diagnosis and the challenge of managing life threatening and life altering pathologies. Bill has seen significant changes in the specialty, the way training is delivered and the day-to-day job of a consultant neurosurgeon over a 35-year period.
Aditaya Kumar is a post-FRCS ST7 neurosurgery trainee in Glasgow. He was born and raised in Yorkshire and attended university in Cambridge then London. His sub-speciality interests are skull base pathologies and their approaches from transcranial and endoscopic corridors. Addy also has a Master’s degree in philosophy and enjoys reading widely, making connections between neurosurgical practice and disparate fields of interest.
Sanskrithi Sravanam (@SanskrithiS) is an FY1 academic foundation doctor in clinical neurosciences at Cambridge University Hospitals. She became interested in neurosurgery after spending five weeks experiencing the specialty in Malaysia, and during her fifth-year neurology rotation, which gave her a good insight into working in the specialty in the UK. She is passionate about diversity and medical education and is the lead for the RCSEd Cambridge foundation trainee surgical society.
Neurosurgery is a competitive specialty which tends to attract driven individuals. Our panel share their tips for gaining the edge and getting those all-important points on your CV, including pursuing outside interests which show dexterity such as sports and playing a musical instrument, which have the added benefits to work-life balance and overall wellbeing. They also point out the importance of choosing a specialty you are passionate about and enjoy if you are going to sustain a career in surgery.
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This show is brought to you by the RCSEd. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram. Hosted by Greg Ekatah, Sesi Hotonu and Sadie Khwaja produced and directed by Heather Pownall of Heather's Media Hub Ltd.