AOCMF Asia Pacific Starter Fellowship

Dr Sudeep Mishra: A fellow's journey into the world of AOCMF

24 April 2018

Dr Sudeep Mishra, an assistant professor in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal, is already implementing the many lessons learned during what he calls “a great learning opportunity”: his AOCMF Asia Pacific Starter Fellowship, September 25–November 17, 2017, at Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center in Bangalore, India.

Mishra recounts the highlights of his own fellowship—and how he is already incorporating the lessons learned in his daily clinical practices.

Where are from?

I am a native of Nepal and my hometown is Biratnagar, in eastern Nepal. From an early age, I wanted to become a surgeon, and became fascinated with ear, nose and throat as well as head and neck surgery. It is a very complex area and there is a big need for these specialties in Nepal.

Where do you work?

I work at B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, a 750-bed teaching hospital in Dharan, in the eastern part of Nepal.

What was your first experience with AOCMF?

I heard about the AOCMF Starter Fellowship from a colleague, who told me it was quite a good experience. I applied for a fellowship but was not selected on the first try. I was disappointed, but I applied a second time and was selected.

Why did you apply for an AOCMF Fellowship?

I applied because AOCMF is a platform for opportunity. The selection process doesn’t require a recommendation, so everyone can apply. As I was interested in head and neck oncology, this was a very good opportunity for me to take part in a short-term fellowship. 

Where and when did your AOCMF Fellowship take place?

My AOCMF Starter Fellowship was at Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre in Bangalore, India.

What is this hospital famous for?

Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre is famous for its comprehensive cancer care. Patients come from Southeast Asia and Africa, too, for treatment at this renowned cancer treatment center.

Who was the doctor responsible for this fellowship? What was is special about him/her? What he/she known or famous for?

My mentor is Dr Moni Abraham Kuriakose, a well-known oncosurgeon and expert in skull base surgery, head and neck reconstruction, oral cancer, early cancer detection and cancer/prognostic markers, and molecular profiling and genetic research. He is a very good surgeon—and a wonderful person.

What was your day-to-day fellowship experience like? Did the fellowship experience meet your expectations?

It was rigorous. My days started at 8 a.m. with rounds with doctors, followed by operating room and outpatient department. Every week we had a clinical meeting. We worked six days a week, sometimes until nine or ten o’clock in the evening.  My AOCMF Starter Fellowship was a great learning opportunity—it definitely met my expectations.

What were the most valuable lessons you learned during your fellowship?

I learned many valuable lessons. Among them were the management of head and neck cancer patients with a multidisciplinary team approach and head and neck reconstruction.

How are you applying these lessons to your everyday work?

Among the lessons I am applying are the proper recording of patient data, discussion of simple and complex clinical scenarios with colleagues from my department and other supporting departments, and a focus on providing the best care to patients. It really is all about a team approach—and improving patient care.

Did you make any new friends during your fellowship?

I became friends with fellows who were at my fellowship center for even longer terms, as well as the support staff. We still stay in touch, sometimes by text and e-mail. Everyone is happy to share their expertise.

How do you think the experience has helped you—or will help you—in your career?

Everything I learned in oncology will definitely help me. I am more confident now about seeing and treating ear, nose, throat, head and neck patients with cancer.

What would you say to young surgeons considering applying for an AOCMF Fellowship?

I would tell them: Go for it!

"My AOCMF Starter Fellowship was a great learning opportunity - it definitely met my expectations. Everything I learned in oncology will definitely help me. I am more confident now about seeing and treating ear, nose, throat, head and neck patients with cancer." 

What do the AO and AOCMF mean to you?

AO CMF truly is a platform of opportunity. Without the AO and AOCMF, I would not have had this fellowship opportunity.

What dreams do you have for the future?

My dream is to excel in my profession. I want to be a credit to my profession and to have the best outcomes for the patients I treat.

What will you do next?

Right now, I am implementing what I learned during my fellowship and in the future, I want to do head and neck research.

Tell us about the most important experience in your life as a surgeon.

When I was a fellow in Mainz, I was very inspired by the friends that I had made while there. All of them were my mentors, even though we were all colleagues and shared the same room in the department.

If you weren't working in the medical field, what would your dream job be?


Do you have a mantra or favorite saying?

“I dressed him. God cured him.”—Ambroise Paré

In a few words, what does AOCMF mean to you?

It’s always great to communicate with other people who have the same profession.

The AO CMF Asia Pacific Starter Fellowship is targeted to craniomaxillofacial (CMF) surgeons looking to study abroad—but with limited spare time and financial support. In 2019, the program will support fellowships of up to eight weeks in recognized AOCMF Fellowship Centers in China, India, South Korea and Thailand, where fellows will become familiar with indications, planning, techniques and pitfalls of osteosynthesis—all under the guidance of AO experts. A CHF 500 per week stipend is offered to cover the AO course fee, airfare, visa cost, local accommodation and transportation and other personal expenses.
1. Graduation from a training program in one of the CMF specialties 
2. Being an AOCMF member 
3. Working in a country in the Asia Pacific region that doesn't run AOCMF Course - Management of Facial Trauma 

If you are not eligible for the AOCMF Asia Pacific Starter Fellowship, you can apply for the AOCMF Fellowships 2019 until April 30, 2018.

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