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Career Talk with Ahmet Alanay (1/5)

28 Nov 2023

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 1: Exploring Ahmet Alanay's professional journey, from residency challenges to global leadership

Q1: Prof. Alanay, can you give us a brief overview of your professional journey in spine care?
A1: Certainly. My journey began during my residency as we had a great spine team and mentors including world-renowned surgeons such as Muharrem Yazici and Emre Acaroğlu who became my partners later on. As our hospital was a referral centre for complex spinal disorders I started my career with the most challenging cases, which really attracted me, as I am a person who loves to deal with challenges. Over the years of my residency, we have been a great trio challenging and competing with each other and diving deep into research to push the boundaries of spine care. At the end of my 5th year I was offered to be a faculty in the spine team and my university supported me for a fellowship programme in the USA.
Q2: What were some of the most pivotal milestones in your career?
A2: A few key milestones include my great fellowship with Dr Marc Asher in KUMC, a one year sabbatical in UCLA comprehensive spine centre where I learned a lot for adult degenerative spine care and dived deep to basic science studies; the decision of leaving my faculty position in the highest ranking medical school after working for over 15 years just to establish another dream, the spine centre of excellence where I am the director now; being one of the co-founders of the European Spine Studiy Group (ESSG) and being one of the pioneers and early adapters of VBT surgery for the non-fusion scoliosis surgery.  Each of these moments taught me the importance of risk taking, perseverance, innovation, and collaboration.
Q3: How have you handled challenges and setbacks in your profession?
A3: Certainly and many times. Every challenge has been a lesson. Instead of viewing setbacks as failures, I've always seen them as opportunities to learn and grow. Surrounding myself with an excellent supportive team such as my family and my team has helped me a lot to handle these challenges.

Part 2 will follow next week.

Further information:

For aspiring surgeons, explore the EUROSPINE Observership Grant for a unique learning opportunity and your chance to visit a potential mentor yourself! Gain 14 days of real-world insight by observing the practices of other EUROSPINE members. Apply by 1 January 2024!

Find out more

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