Dr. Surajit Gorai, MD (India)
Mentor: Dr. Thomas Ruzicka, MD
Munich, Germany. 2018
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley
True in all sense, my ISD-sponsored mentorship taught me, polished me, and gave me experience, as it made me a better human being. The quote is true for my own country too! Many things I liked and hated about my country proved to be exactly the opposite. Munich is classical in appearance, technologically advanced, and a clean, livable city where I have enjoyed lovely weather, Oktoberfest, and definitely the dermatology department.
Municipality Hospital and Ludwig Maximilians University together administer the department with magical coordination, making it one of the best-in-class dermatology centers in the world with state-of-the-art facilities. A great canteen, located between two multi-storied buildings, keeps everyone healthy by providing good food at a nominal cost.
The dermatosurgery department is equipped with a sophisticated operating theater that deals with all types of cutaneous malignancies as well as performing flap reconstructions and sentinel lymph node biopsies. Doing each operation with perfection and maintaining a sterile environment leads to the use of no postoperative antibiotics, practically impossible to consider in my own clinic! Determining the ‘MED' and ‘MTD' in patients with photodermatoses was performed by trained personnel with advanced instruments and this was very interesting to me.
Self-taught residents from all over the world work efficiently in a friendly environment and every day exchange ideas during the ‘mittag' (noon) meeting. Fellows, hospitalists, and interns (via exchange programs) decorate the department and make it truly international. From advanced laboratory techniques to intelligent and compassionate nurses, the patient care was lifted to a high level. Preparation of aeroallergens as well as allergens from suspected drugs, foods, and creams was quite innovative. Densensitization via bites from living bees and wasps was also very interesting. While there is a dearth of proper laboratory infrastructure in our clinic in India, the logical approach is the same, including a detailed clinical examination.
During my two months in Munich, I regularly interacted with legendary figures in various fields of dermatology such as psoriasis, atopy, and dermatosurgery. I also collaborated with them on a few projects and made several new friends. It was a magical experience to meet the sage-like Professor Plewig, and I will forever treasure the memories of his friendly discussions and suggestions. Professor Thomas Ruzicka, the experienced, humble and the legendary man, made my stay so comfortable while Professor Rashmi Sarkar constantly motivated me to unlearn, learn, and enjoy my time in Munich. As always, Dr. Koushik Lahiri stood beside me as a friend, philosopher, and guide. I sincerely appreciate this opportunity and thank the ISD for choosing me. I believe this exposure will act as a catalyst and help me to progress further in my career.