2014: Issue 30

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M.D. Focus

Get to know our doctors
Meet four Bumrungrad physicians who share their thoughts on a range of healthcare topics.

Providing the highest standards of patient care requires a hospital-wide commitment and professional expertise. Bumrungrad’s medical staff includes over 1,300 world-class doctors of the highest caliber, with outstanding professional credentials and advanced training across the full spectrum of medical sub-specialties.

dr. navara dusitanond colorectal surgery


Dr. Navara Dusitanond Surgeon - General Surgery, Colorectal Surgery

Dr. Navara graduated (with second-class honors) in the field of general surgery and as a colorectal specialist from the Surgery Department, Chulalongkorn University. Before joining the Bumrungrad team, he worked with the Naval Medical Department, the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, the Thai Red Cross Society, and the Chulabhorn Research Institute.

Q: What are your impressions of working at Bumrungrad?
A: Bumrungrad is highly professional in management, treatment technology and personnel. Each unit takes responsibility for its duties, which makes taking care of patients efficient and up to standard. Both the medical community and patients regard Bumrungrad as one of the most capable and successful hospitals in the country. For doctors, working here is quite challenging because we often take on difficult cases from both domestic and international patients. In some cases, I’m presented with situations I’ve never seen.

Q: How do you handle stress?
A: I have many hobbies such as photography and traveling.
But what I like the most is scuba diving because I get to live with nature to the fullest extent for a full three to four days on a boat in the middle of the sea. With no phone signal, I am completely cut off from the outside world. For me, this is the best way to deal with stress.

dr. sudarat yaisawang children eye


Dr. Sudarat Yaisawang Ophthalmologist - Ophthalmology (Eye), Pediatric Ophthalmology

Along with Dr. Sudarat’s practice, which specializes in pediatric ophthalmology and squinting, she is highly regarded as the president of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists of Thailand and head of the Ophthalmology Department, Chulalongkorn University. She held various administrative and academic positions before coming out of retirement to join the medical staff at Bumrungrad International.

Q: What are common child vision problems?
A: Because children today spend so much time staring at computer screens they suffer from nearsightedness at a young age, which increases more rapidly than in the past. Parents must warn their children to rest their eyes frequently by looking into the distance. They should also encourage them to engage in outdoor activities.

Q: Which cases are most memorable?
A: Although I’m a pediatric ophthalmologist, I treat patients of all ages. I have several elderly patients who have been coming to me for so long they seem like close relatives. Some moved on to other doctors, but they missed me so much that they have come back to my practice. These longtime, loyal patients truly impress me.

Q: What gives you pride in your work?
A: In 1982, there was turmoil in Cambodia. Thailand gave support to up to 100,000 refugees at Khao-I-Dang refugee camp, which lacked sufficient medical personnel. Seeing this need, I volunteered to be the chief of the Thai Red Cross Eye Specialist Surgical Team to treat these refugees. I commuted between the camp and Bangkok every weekend for more than 10 years. The American Red Cross recognized my service with a humanitarian award, which made me feel honored and proud.

dr. koonlawee nademanee arrhythmia center treatment bumrungrad bangkok hospital thailand


Dr. Koonlawee Nademanee Cardiology - Arrhythmia Center

For more than 30 years, Dr. Koonlawee has taken care of patients with physiological cardiac problems and cardiac arrhythmia in Thailand and the US. Along with his practice, he conducts research continuously to develop and improve treatment. The medical community holds Dr. Koonlawee in high regard as one of the country’s finest doctors and dedicated researchers.

Q: What is the most difficult aspect of your work as a doctor?
A: As a doctor, giving my best to treat patients is all I want, but to have all patients fully recover is impossible. Therefore, the more patients I treat, the odds of incurable cases increase. Even though the number of incurable patients is small, I think about them, as it’s hard to restrain my mind. For example, if I treat 100 patients and can’t cure two percent, this means there are two incompletely cured people out of 100. But if I treat 1,000 patients the number of incurable cases also rises.

Q: What principles guide your work?
A: Keep learning, always. I strive to remind myself every day that I have yet to know all that I should. Accordingly, I constantly seek additional knowledge and new technologies and then adapt them to research work to acquire the best benefits in treating patients.

Q: How has treatment technology changed in recent decades?
A: Medical technology changes dramatically and quickly. This acceleration occurs not only because doctors are more competent, but also because many fields of knowledge have advanced so much, such as software development and engineering. Additionally innovations, such as ultrasound, MRI, and CT scans greatly improve and advance treatment technology.

dr. nattawat wanumkang eye cataract surgery


Dr. Nattawut Wanumkang Ophthalmologist - Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Cataract

Dr. Nattawut graduated as a specialist from the University of California, San Diego. He specializes in dacryocystitis, diseases of the eyelids and eye sockets, and eyelid plastic surgery. He also devotes time to educating colleagues in new ophthalmological knowledge domestically and internationally.

Q: What sparked your interest in academics?
A: Giving full involvement in my specialty is what underlies my passion for ongoing study. Intensive practice and experience prepare us to treat actual medical problems and train us to always look for better solutions. I believe we should never stop revisiting and revising our knowledge. And once we’re confident in our knowledge and abilities, we must share it through our practice. The more we give, the more we receive. When we share knowledge with others, whether they use the knowledge in their practices or pass it on, this brings me much happiness.

Academic work is about giving. I think hospitals prepared with equipment and personnel that can handle enough cases, can develop into specialized medical centers for knowledge transfer. We accomplished this goal at Mettapracharak Watraikhing Hospital. When I joined Bumrungrad International, I saw great potential to do the same thing here. Recently, we’ve established seminars and workshops on Master Techniques in Ophthalmic
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the second International Training Course with international world-class specialists who came to Thailand to give lectures. They passed on their vital knowledge to more than 250 doctors, which I consider a very successful result.

Q: What are your impressions about working at Bumrungrad?
A: Bumrungrad has many board-specialized doctors with impressive expertise. I recall a very difficult case where a patient had cancer on the upper part of the face. The cancer went through the eye socket into the brain. We mobilized doctors from all related fields to participate in the treatment. The surgery took 11 hours to accomplish. The collegial work environment barely differed from that of medical school. Such a cooperative scenario is quite hard to find.

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