M.D. Focus

January 18, 2012

Meet four Bumrungrad physicians as they share their thoughts on a range of health care topics.

Get to know our doctors

Meet four Bumrungrad physicians as they share their thoughts on a range of health care topics.

Providing the highest standards of patient care requires a hospital-wide commitment and professional expertise. Bumrungrad’s medical staff includes over 900 world class doctors of the highest caliber, with outstanding professional credentials and advanced training across the full spectrum of medical sub-specialties.

After graduating with First Class honors from Siriraj Hospital’s Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Non was awarded a fellowship for advanced studies at a leading institute in the US city of Pittsburgh. He chose to focus on critical care medicine, a specialty requiring a wide range of medical knowledge.
Q: What are the main duties of a critical care physician?
A: My job is to take care of patients across a wide range of life-threating conditions – respiratory failure, low blood pressure, multiple organ failure, and others – that require an intense level of care. I have to manage multiple systems of the body which have implications for a patient’s survival. 

Q: What aspect of your work poses the greatest challenge?
A:  In my specialty, our body and mind must be ready and prepared to handle the stresses of treating patients in life-threatening situations. When a patient passes away, you can’t help but feel sad. However, as doctors, we must keep our emotions in check so we can help other patients.

Q: Is there one lesson you’ve learned that helps you in your work?
A: During those moments when I’m feeling stressed or tired, I think about something my mentor used to say: “You have the best job in the world, because in no other job can you help save the lives of so many people.” That rings true to me because, when we can save a patient facing near-certain death, it’s a wonderful feeling.

After graduating from Mahidol University’s Faculty of Medicine at Ramathibodi Hospital, Dr. Vitchaphan went on to earn a Diploma from the Thai Board of Otolaryngology. He did his advanced studies in the US, focusing on endoscopic sinus, head and neck surgery. At Bumrungrad, his vast experience and expertise are helping patients succeed in the battle against cancer.
Q: What’s the most challenging part of your work as a doctor?
A: After treating so many cancer patients over many years, I’ve come to recognize that cancer places a tremendous burden on a patient’s mental and emotional well-being, and it affects me as well. It’s more apparent in the more serious cases, such as when an organ must be removed which will impact a patient’s life quality, or a cure is simply not possible.
Doctors need advanced communication skills with patients, especially when they have to give difficult news. Doctors need to have a calming manner and be able to explain a situation to each patient in a manner that’s right for that particular patient.  

Q: Are there particular cases or certain patients who always stay with you?
A: One patient I think about often came to me suffering from sinus cancer. His cancer had grown so much. But the man was desperate for help – he still needed to stabilize his business, and he had very young children who still needed their father to take care of them. If a cure wasn’t possible, could I at least help him stay alive for two more years so he could put everything in order?

We focused on supportive therapy to preserve as much life quality as possible. We explored every method and idea – conventional and otherwise – and somehow, he held on for those two years and passed away with no regrets.

This confirmed my belief that, if we’re willing to give our best possible effort, even when the odds are against us, we can always find some way to help when a patient needs it most.

After graduating from Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Medicine with First Class honors, Dr. Kessarin earned her diplomate certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine and Neurology. She did advanced studies in vascular neurology at the State University of New York (SUNY) and was hired as a professor at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York before returning home to join Bumrungrad.
Q: What got you interested in neurology?
A: Anatomy has always been my favorite subject, especially neurology which is extremely complex and very challenging. I call on what I’ve learned when evaluating a patient’s condition, particularly with acute stroke patients, many of whom arrive at the hospital with paralysis and have lost their speech function. Prompt diagnosis and swift decision-making are vital to helping these patients. I think I’m at my best during these tense, high-pressure situations.   

Q: Which technologies are helping stroke victims the most?
A: There are many recent technologies that have improved stroke treatment when anticoagulants aren’t successful. We can use an angiography to locate the blood clot and use it to directly apply the anticoagulant. Or we can insert a stent to re-open the artery and remove the clot. The advances in these types of procedures allow us to save much more healthy brain tissue than ever before.

Q: What attracted you to Bumrungrad?
A: The system of patient care at Bumrungrad follows stringent international standards, and the medical team includes many recognized experts across all areas of medicine – there are neurologists who are leading experts in stroke treatment, specialists in multiple sclerosis,
epilepsy, dementia, and more. Patients have access to a wide range of experts.
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