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 4: Motivating young surgeons
Q1: As the new President of EUROSPINE, what are your primary goals and initiatives for young surgeons?
A1: My vision is to create a nurturing environment for young surgeons through mentorship programs, hands-on training workshops, and increased opportunities for research and presentations. I will work on establishing leadership courses, which will provide them the vision, tools, knowledge and mentorship to develop their leadership skills. We aim to harness their passion and drive to further the field of spine care and governance of our society.
Q2: Any advice for aspiring spine surgeons?
A2: Never lose your thirst for knowledge. The medical field is constantly evolving with opportunities and challenges, and so should we. With the aging European population, I believe spine health will become the number one public health problem in the future, even more devastating than other chronic conditions. On the other hand, spine care is very receptive to new research ideas and innovations compared to other subspecialties of orthopedics, neurosurgery, or non-operative disciplines. So, if I were to come into this world again, I would definitely choose to be a spine surgeon, perhaps specializing mostly in degenerative minimal invasive surgeries rather than complex spinal deformities to make my life less stressful ☺. Finally, seek mentors, collaborate widely, develop a network of spine professionals, and always prioritise your patients' welfare.