Assist. Prof. Dr. Thamabovorn Neti
Assist. Prof. Dr. Thamabovorn, head of Bumrungrad’s Anesthesiology Department, graduated from the Faculty of Medicine (First Class Honors), Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, before continuing her studies at the University of California Los Angeles, USA, in the area of anesthesia for adult cardiac surgery and pediatric congenital heart surgery. She returned to teach at Siriraj Hospital for 10 years before joining Bumrungrad. Dr. Thamabovorn is a member of the medical team that performs heart surgery to over 700 children in the “Rak Jai Thai” or “Healing Hearts” program.
What do anesthesiologists do?
Our primary role is to work in collaboration with surgeons to get patients through surgery safely and with minimum complications. To perform this challenging job, anesthesiologists integrate knowledge of internal medicine with surgical effects to choose the appropriate anesthetic technique and amount of anesthetic agents. During surgery, we monitor patients to ensure their organs receive sufficient blood and oxygen. We also are ready at all times to assist patients who need life-saving resuscitation.
In your practice, what case impressed you the most?
A female student had an accident that caused a cervical spine fracture. All of her limbs suddenly became immobile, and she could only breathe and speak. This serious injury would likely cost her the use of her arms and legs and death was highly possible. As her doctor, I had to share this disheartening prognosis with her parents. The father – who was the driver in the accident – cried out, lamenting his daughter’s fate.
Immediate cervical instrumentation surgery was the only chance but could offer only the slightest hope of recovery. I thought of my daughter who was about the same age as the patient and I understood the parents’ sadness. The surgery went well, and one year later the patient came to visit. She was a beautiful young woman with hardly any sign of her traumatic injury.
So many events in my professional life remind me that our devotion to patients accumulates merit every day. What is your work philosophy?
Patients always come first. Bumrungrad has a management structure that gives priority to patients’ quality care and safety, which matches exactly my work philosophy.
Prof. Dr. Roongroj Bhidayasiri Specializing in Neurology –Parkinson’s Disease
After graduating from the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Prof. Dr. Roongroj received membership and was awarded a fellowship at the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. Prof. Dr. Roongroj is also certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. At present, Prof. Dr. Roongroj holds a Professor appointment at Chulalongkorn University and Juntendo University Hospital, Japan.
What sparked your interest in Movement Disorders?
Choosing my specialty when I did was challenging because it was very new. Many thought that the prognosis for Parkinson’s
patients was always bleak, that patients quickly become bedridden with no chance of a cure. But when I studied this disease I discovered that rigorous treatment could help patients achieve a better quality of life.
How have treatment methods changed?
In the past, if patients only had slight shaking, doctors would advise that no treatment was necessary. They prescribed medication only when several more symptoms presented. In the past 10 years, treatment trends for Parkinson’s disease have seen many new medicines come on the scene. Deep brain surgery
and infusion therapy show promise. There’s no cure, but Parkinson’s patients can enjoy a better quality of life for more than 20 years. When I started in this specialty, most patients were wheelchair-bound five years after onset.
What principles guide your work?
To excel at a specialty one needs determination and concentration, but before that, you must like what you do. If you’re not passionate about your specialty, then you won’t have the energy to pursue it with gusto and creativity. I was fortunate to find a specialty I care deeply about and work hard to seek opportunities to make it my practice area. What’s most important in medicine is always to do the hard work. Expertise comes from constant practice.
Dr. Rosanee Valyasevi Specializing in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Dr. Rosanee graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, with First Class Honors, before pursuing research and further studies in Endocrinology at Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC, and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Upon finishing her research, she passed the American Board examination. After 14 years abroad she returned to Thailand in 2003 to work at Bumrungrad.
What challenges do endocri- nologists face?
Medical advances and technology change so fast nowadays that doctors must keep updating their knowledge and follow developments. Another challenge is to get patients to follow treatment protocols. Diabetes
is a chronic disease requiring ongoing treatment. Therefore, patients must cooperate to ensure it’s effective.
To provide the best treatment, I gather the patient’s medical history and assess their lifestyle conditions. Using a patient’s laboratory results, I develop a treatment plan, keeping in mind medication side effects. It’s important to let patients ask questions. I tell them I’ll do my best to treat them, together with their help, to avoid complications such as heart disease or amputation. Most patients understand and cooperate.
What case impressed you the most?
It was not a patient in the Endocrinology Department, but rather a foreigner of about 18 or 19 years of age who was involved in a car accident in Southern Thailand. He had hemophilia, causing life-threatening hemoperitoneum (internal organ bleeding). Because there was no coagulation treatment available in the provincial hospital, he bled after surgery, leading to shock and cardiac arrest. The patient’s relatives in the USA contacted the Mayo Clinic, and through its worldwide network of alumni, they contacted me for assistance.
It was a Saturday evening; we sent an air ambulance to transfer the patient to the emergency room. After 45 minutes, nine specialists saw him, including doctors specializing in intensive care, heart disease, hemophilia, kidney disease, infectious diseases, and surgery. With the success of the multidisciplinary team approach, he was able to safely travel back to the United States, demostrating Bumrungrad’s readiness to provide life-saving, integrated care to patients who urgently need our help.
What is it like working at Bumrungrad?
Bumrungrad has the latest technology and a highly skilled medical workforce to implement them. More importantly, we function as a team to solve patients’ problems as quickly and smoothly as possible, which makes it easier for us to deliver high-quality care.