A Neuroanesthesia Fellowship in Doha, State of Qatar
(Fellowship experiences from around the world)
ICPNT Fellow in the Spotlight
Dr Yousef Qaddourah is the current Neuroanesthesiology Fellow at Hamad General Hospital in Doha, State of Qatar. Hamad General Hospital, part of Hamad Medical Corporation, achieved its ICPNT accreditation for its Neuroanesthesiology Fellowship Program in 2021. The Program Director is Dr Satyawan Arvind Bhat.
Dr. Yousef Qaddourah,
Neuroanesthesiology Fellow, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, State of Qatar
During my training in the anesthesiology residency program in Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), I was fascinated by the level of attention to detail that underpins the high quality neuroanesthetic and neurosurgical care of our patients. Moreover, I have always felt that neuroanesthesia is a branch that is constantly evolving, with many research opportunities, as advances in neurosciences seek to unravel the current several anonymities of the human brain. Therefore, when it was time to choose a subspecialty for advanced training to consolidate my experience, the ICPNT accredited fellowship in neuroanesthesiology was the foremost in my mind. I was thrilled when my place in the program was confirmed, offering me a wonderful opportunity to fulfil my ardent wish to become a proficient and safe neuroanesthesiologist.
I am now in the first half of this exciting journey, and I am thoroughly enjoying my learning experience. Notwithstanding a level of familiarity gained by completing my residency training in the same institute, working with some exacting and temperamental neurosurgical colleagues who are quite renowned in the country has its occasional stressful moments. However, with the unwavering support and close supervision of a dedicated, friendly, and well respected neuroanesthetic faculty, I have steadily established an excellent rapport and understanding within the perioperative team.
As the only tertiary neurosurgical center in the entire country, HMC receives a large volume of adult neurosurgical cases. This will help me to add a substantial number to my logbook. I am rostered to attend one of the elective neurosurgical lists on an average four days each week. The variety of cases is extensive, from intracranial tumor resection, transsphenoidal resection of pituitary adenoma to more complex neurovascular surgery such as aneurysmal clipping and resection of arteriovenous malformation. I attended an enthralling case of awake craniotomy for tumor resection in the first month of my training. It has been interesting to learn the conduct of anesthesia for different surgical positions including park bench and sitting position. I have also been involved in several major spine surgeries. In addition, I am regularly involved in the care of patients presenting for emergency neurosurgery such as following traumatic brain injury or to alleviate refractory intracranial hypertension after a malignant stroke.
In the coming months I will spend time outside the operating room as I attend the other core rotations that form part of the program. In the intensive care unit, I shall closely follow the progress of sick patients, both before and after neurosurgical interventions, in addition to learning new skills such as ICP monitoring and cerebral blood flow evaluation using techniques like transcranial doppler. I am looking forward to gaining an in-depth understanding of the current management strategies for patients with traumatic brain and spine injury. During the neuroradiology training module, I shall be able to sharpen my skills in the interpretation of CT and MRI scans of the brain and the spine, that form such an integral part of modern neuro-practice. I am also excited to spend time in the interventional neuro-radiology suite to gain a working knowledge of the minimally invasive neurovascular interventions that have transformed the care and outcomes of so many neurosurgical patients. The anesthetic management of these patients forms a core part of my training. Working outside the more familiar and cosier environment of the operating room will have its challenges but it will make me a confident and resourceful anesthesiologist.
Despite the longer hours that I am required to put in compared to some of my peers, I find the work and learning experience very rewarding. I have no doubt that the knowledge and skills mastered, and attitudes imbibed during the course of this fellowship will remain my faithful companion for years to come, both in the practice of neuroanesthesiology as well as in my practice outside this subspecialty. For their support and guidance, I am grateful to the faculty members who are caring, kind and approachable. With such a positive experience so far, I hope to be able to encourage more junior colleagues to choose neuroanesthesiology as a career subspecialty.
Finally, a thank you to SNACC for this opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings with the readers of this newsletter.