Jacob was the first Australian neurosurgeon to apply for and receive the Fellowship at our Centre. Given the disdain with which my fellow neurosurgeons treat me and anyone associated with me, this was an incredibly courageous and admirable step. I had the pleasure of working with Jacob several years ago when he rotated through the public hospital as a junior registrar. He impressed me then. I had briefly contemplated seducing him back to the Centre one day in the hope that he may wish to specialise in brain tumours. Over the last 6 months he did not disappoint us. Jacob is an exceptional human being. He has warmth and compassion, immeasurable professionalism, a great depth of knowledge, surgical courage and dexterity and superb communication skills…… and a wicked sense of humour! He became an immediate team member and was liked by all with whom he made contact. Jacob will be furthering his training in Canada in the field of neurovascular surgery with the plan of becoming both a brain tumour and a vascular neurosurgeon. I couldn’t think of a more worthy colleague in whom I would place the care of my patients and hope that he will consider returning to our Centre in 2012. We wish him and his wonderful family the best of luck in Toronto.
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.