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Caroline Hayhurst joined us from Toronto, Canada, where she had just completed a 12 month fellowship in Skull Base Surgery under the guidance of Fred Gentili. Previous to that she had been extremely well trained under the mentorship of Conor Mallucci. She was only the second female fellow to pass through the Centre and maintained the high standard set by Dr Darbar, who is currently forging a brilliant career in St. Louis, Missouri. There is no doubt that Caroline will establish the same admirable reputation in the United Kingdom. While she was with us it became clear she was confident but not arrogant, quiet but not backward in coming forward and knowledgeable but not a know-it-all. The single most frequently voiced comment made about her since she departed refers to “…her amazing knowledge of the neurosurgical literature”. We will miss her passion, her measured and accurate suggestions in the operating room, her diligence and her clinical excellence. I am not sure she will find the surf as attractive in Cardiff, but they are certainly the better off for having her in their health system. We wish her the best of British luck!
Dr Nicholas Koechlin
Nick did his residency training in Zurich at the University of Zurich. This is considered one of the most prestigious centres in the world, indeed the hospital where Prof. Gazi Yasargil was Chairman for many years. He then completed a fellowship with Prof. Robert Reisch, considered one of the pioneers in minimally invasive neurosurgery. Nick was with us for 12 months. Initially as an Observational Fellow then as the Clinical Fellow.
Neurosurgery is arguably the most physically and emotionally taxing of all the medical and surgical specialties. It is a demanding discipline where patients can die unexpectedly and mistakes are unforgiving. With this pressure, neurosurgeons often develop a hard exterior, distancing themselves from their patients and sometimes even their loved ones. It is a plausible self-preservation defence mechanism. Nick was the opposite.
He was warm and compassionate with his patients and relatives and engaged all the nursing staff and other health care workers in his daily interactions. He was not only like this professionally but also in his social interactions. Nick is a technically excellent surgeon, who has been very well trained and will be a worthy addition to any neurosurgical team. We wish him and his beautiful family the best of Aussie luck.