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Thursday, May 03, 2007

So long!

Everyone got all emotional Wednesday night at the home of Dr. Anil Nanda, head of the LSU Health Sciences Center Neurosurgery Department and wife Laura Nanda.

But, then it was a bittersweet event that honored two chief residents who have finished their training in the LSU Health Sciences Center Neurosurgery Department and are heading out on their own. The two are the first residents who have gone through the entire program.

It was time to say goodbye.

The event also honored Dr. Volker K.H. Sonntag, professor of clinical surgery at the University of Arizona, an expert in spine surgery, who was here for the Mary Louise & Ben Levy Jr. Visiting Professorship in Neurosurgery. (He spoke on "Complex Spine Reconstruction" at the school earlier in the day.)

He had some words of wisdom for the other honorees — wisdom applicable to anyone, really.

Anyway, Dr. Anthony Sin fought back the tears as he talked about his father and his mother who died last year. "She would loved to have been here," said Sin.

"Thank all of you," he said, humbly. "Nurses ... all have been with us on this trip. You are very, very special."

He immigrated to the United States from Seoul with his parents when he was 13 and in the eighth grade.

It wasn’t always easy. "I worked hard," he said, in a later interview.

He leaves here for the University of Tennessee at Memphis where he will take a Spine Fellowship.

Dr. Jorge Gonzalez-Cruz lamented the passing of a physician in San Antonio who had meant a great deal to him as a young doctor. He will set up practice in Altoona, Pa.

Sonntag’s words of advice: "Never be too proud to ask for help ... We are never above this."

Neurosurgery operations are long and it is good to step aside, have someone else step in and they may say, "I probably would use this approach. They are looking at it clearly and objectively."

Advice, we think that would apply to all of us.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Share it with us.


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