Following the insightful career talk with Ahmet Alanay, current EUROSPINE President, at the recent EUROSPINE Annual Meeting, we're excited to provide weekly bits of his valuable insights.
Part 2: Sharing personal insights and principles
Q1: Prof. Alanay, what personal qualities have guided you throughout your career?
A1: Integrity, dedication, perseverance, risk taking and an insatiable curiosity which brought innovative thinking. It's essential to remain true to your principles, fully commit to your patients and profession, and never stop asking questions. I also preferred to team up with people who challenge me rather than always obeying or approving of what I say.
Q2: Balancing a demanding career with personal life is challenging. Any advice?
A2: Yes, it's all about setting priorities and boundaries. My wife is also an MD, she is a professor of Paediatrics, subspecialised in clinical genetics and a world-renowned expert on skeletal dysplasia. I think we both were very much dedicated to our job since none of us was busier than the other. We did not hesitate to have 2 lovely kids at our busiest times in our career and we could manage it. So, for kids, do not wait for a suitable time because you will never have it during your whole career if you choose the academic world. Honestly, we spent majority of our time with our dedication to our patients and academic life but always allocated quality time for our family. None of us have a specific hobby other than the routines such as reading books, watching movies etc. We had only 1 to 2 weeks of summer holidays after starting to work as consultants throughout our whole career. But I am mentioning these as not to do things ;-) My real suggestion would be to find hobbies and activities outside work that refresh you and always allocate quality time for your family.
Part 3 will follow next week.