Dr. Shakirat Gold-Olufadi, MD (Nigeria)
Mentor: Dr. Luiz Castro, MD
Sao Paulo, Brazil. 2019
Major goals for your mentorship experience: In addition to enhancing my basic dermatologic surgery skills, I wanted to learn about advanced procedures such as flaps and grafts and the best methods for ensuring that cutaneous surgery was done in an aesthetically appealing way. I also wanted to learn how to manage patients with lighter skin phototypes as most of the patients seen in Nigeria have darkly pigmented skin.
What did you like best about your mentorship experience? The best aspect of my mentorship experience was the networking and intercultural collaboration. My mentor was the true definition of what a mentor should be - he always tried to make learning easier. He introduced me to former ISD mentees and to his colleagues in Brazil who also mentored me in different ways. I made a lot of friends and we exchanged different aspects of our respective cultures.
Describe any special experiences with your mentor: We usually had a Brazilian delicacy called pasjel and caldor de cana together in the open fair on Fridays. During coffee time, we discussed details of previous surgeries. I almost damaged his coffee maker and this led to his teasing me incessantly about it. However, I redeemed myself by becoming the best coffee brewer ever! I was allowed to scrub in for all the surgical procedures and was even the primary surgeon twice. Dr. Luiz always had kind and encouraging words, even when I did very little.
Describe a skill acquired during your mentorship that you will definitely use when you return home: I learnt about triple therapy - surgery, cryotherapy and intralesional injection of corticosteroids – for the treatment of keloids, and we see a lot of patients with keloids in Nigeria. After my mentorship experience, I daresay that I'll be doing the surgical portion myself rather than sending the patient to the surgical unit and I will pass this knowledge onto my colleagues.
How will your mentorship experience impact your patient care and professional goals over the next year? I have gained more confidence in my abilities to perform more complex dermatologic surgery procedures. Occasionally, I see Caucasian patients in Nigeria and my experience has provided me with more confidence in managing those patients. I also learnt firsthand about aesthetic procedures including injection of botulinum toxin and fillers as well as microneedling
How will your mentorship experience make an impact five years from now, including for your region or country? It is my dream that over the next five years, there will be more dermatologists venturing into dermatologic surgery in Nigeria. The ripple effect of my mentorship will also be felt, especially by resident doctors who will gain training in dermatologic surgery. In addition, I would like to explore collaborative research projects.
Share a pearl you learned during your mentorship experience: The importance of placing incision lines along the lines of tension on the skin as this greatly influences the final appearance of the scar. I also learned about proper wound closure techniques that served to relieve tension and evert the edges.