Mentor of the Week: Shadow Neurosurgeon Robert Lesko in the Specialized Center of Neurosurgery
Written by Czech Hospital Placements Program on Monday, March 27, 2017
Neurosurgery, Mentors University Hospital in Motol, Shadowing a Neurosurgeon, #Whocanbeyourmentor
In the Mentor of the Week series we introduce one professional, who act as the #CHPProgram mentor, representing his or her specialty department. This week we have chosen neurosurgeon Robert Lesko, who says that Neurosurgery is extensive enough to become familiar with it, but diverse enough never to get bored.
What does he mostly love about his specialty? How does his daily routine look like? And when did he realize Neurosurgery is going to be his future profession?
Why did I become a healthcare professional?
I already knew in high school that I wanted to study medicine. In a way, medicine is very simple – you never face a moral conflict – the purpose of this job is to help your patients unconditionally. At the same time, it is very difficult, because this is not always possible, and it can be very difficult to face this fact. On the other hand, it is a wonderful feeling to push the limits of what we are able to do.
After my first two years in university, where my knowledge about medicine was purely theoretical, I started to doubt my decision to become a doctor. However, those doubts disappeared when I found a job as a paramedic in my third year of university and encountered the clinical environment for the very first time. I have not questioned my choice since.
Neurosurgery is a very complex field with a balanced distribution of diagnostic, therapeutic, and decision-making processes. Extensive enough to become familiar with it, but diverse enough never to get bored.
What do I love the most about my specialty?
It feels great to help people and work with them. Surgery is the most exciting part of our work, as it fully respects the interests of patients. The great aspect of working at the University Hospital in Motol is the variety of methods and procedures that we provide within the Specialized Center of Neurosurgery.
In spinal surgery, we specialize predominantly on minimally invasive surgeries with an expected success rate of 90%. We have an extensive neurotraumatology program, and we are the biggest trauma center in Czech Republic. We have a comprehensive neuro oncologic program and we intensively develop the epileptic surgery program for adults. In the pediatric ward, such center is already working as one of the only two in the Czech Republic.
What can you see by shadowing our team?
I will show you the work of a neurosurgeon in its entirety. From the morning rounds and indication meetings, to work in the department and on call. Above all, the work in the operating room, which is the core of my profession. You will be able to see predominantly spinal surgeries and brain surgeries (epileptic surgery and neurosurgical operations), and less frequently operations of the peripheral nerves.
I honestly believe that every spine surgery and brain operation is performed many times in the mind of the neurosurgeon, where all possible scenarios, backup plans, potential complications, and their solutions have to be considered. Only after this do we feel comfortable proceeding with the operation itself. I am in charge of the recently opened Epileptic Surgical Center and you will therefore be able to observe the work in this center. Epileptic surgery, as a surgical subspecialty, is in a way quite similar to neuro oncology, because our goal is to remove the part of brain tissue where the seizures occur, similarly to the tumor in neuro oncology.
The major difference is that in epileptic surgery this tissue is invisible to the naked eye. It is necessary to understand that neurosurgery is in many ways different from other surgical specialties; it is more delicate and it requires more strategy and planning using specialized software and a neuronavigation system, which informs us about the location of important nervous structures and routes.
Apart from being a healthcare professional…
Other than the occasional sport, I focus completely on my amazing family.
When I started studying medicine, I thought that work would be the meaning of my life. Nowadays my motto is more selfish, but more realistic:
The meaning of life should be being happy. If you profess moral values, it implies that the meaning of life is in making other people happy.