This report was prepared by Bitao Lv. He was granted with a 4-week fellowship (7 April 2014 – 2 May 2014) and trained under the supervision of Michael Janssen, of the Center for Spine and Orthopedics, at The Scientific Education and Research Institute, Thornton, Colorado, USA.
My living, learning and Communication in SERI
I arrived at Denver International Airport at 21:30 on April 6, 2014 (the U.S. time). Mark, a staff of SERI, picked me up and sent me into an apartment named “ Skyline”, which is only 10 minutes’ walk from the SERI. In Skyline apartment, living facilities are complete. Because I didn’t adapt to American food, I often went to the supermarket to purchase some ingredients and cook myself. I think me as an excellent cooker also. Sometimes, I invited my American colleagues tasting Chinese food I cooked, and they invited me to their parties also. I had established a profound friendship with my American colleagues.
The duration of my fellow in SERI is only 4 weeks, so I treasured every minute of the learning opportunities in SERI. Every Monday and Wednesday, I followed Dr. Janssen and observed his clinical, operation and lecture. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I followed another Spine surgeon – Dr. Morreale. Every Friday, I studied at the library of SERI and did some reading and writing about spine surgery. The circumstance of the SERI is very nice with complete functions of the operating rooms, lecture hall, and library. At the same time, I often followed Dr. Janssen and Dr. Morreale to watch operations at the other two hospitals. All staff of SERI is very kind to me. I was permitted to scrub-in and watching surgery procedure. Dr. Janssen and Dr. Moreale do a good job in spine surgery. I learned so much from them, especially the ALIF. I observed about 40 spine surgery procedures in 4 weeks, half cervical and half lumbar. For a short time fellowship, I did not observe some thoracic surgery procedures, which is a little pity to me.
Though my English is not very good, I tried my best to do a good job in the communication with all staff of SERI. I asked all kinds of questions every day. To researchers, I asked them some questions about the study of Spinal cord injury. To surgeons, I asked them questions about surgery procedures and clinical. To nurses, I asked them questions about some instruments. They were really kind to me and often gave me good answers. At the same time, I was glad to introduce my some experiences to them. I gave a presentation about the history of my home center and the experiences of our cervical surgery procedures before I left SERI. I was so happy that Dr. Janssen said I did a good job after that presentation. And I think that the one of the main goals of AOSpine fellowship is providing an opportunity for all world spine surgeons to communicate each other.
Thank AOSpine for giving me a chance to study abroad!
Thank all staff of SERI for teaching me so much!
Thank AOSpine Asia Pacific for helping me so much!