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.
As usual, the over 600 applicants we received for the fellowship was shortened to 5 amazingly qualified candidates. They were from countries on all major continents and appeared to be the best of the best. How was I to choose? Harish was a resident at one of the best hospitals in the world, Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Hills, USA. He had received a glowing reference from his Chairman, the famous and talented, Keith Black…..but so too had the other 4 short-listed candidates. As is often the case, I decided to meet with them all on one of my trips to LA, and my daughter Alex, who was living in Santa Monica at the time, joined me. After interviewing them all, over breakfast, I still couldn’t make up my mind. Alex piped up and stated with authority, “Harish is the best candidate…I would choose him”. Given that my daughters have had very close relationships with all my previous fellows, from infants to now, I guess, no-one would be better qualified to know, what makes a good fellow or a bad fellow….who makes my life easier and enjoyable, and who makes my life harder and miserable. I decided to act on her intuition.
Harish, like all the other fellows brought his unique training and personality to the fellowship. I always give my fellows a title once they finish that includes at least one superlative….best technician, best academician, best clinician etc. Harish’s “superlative” is easy. Part of teaching and interaction with the fellow includes placing bets with them on some challenging clinical question. As you would hope and expect, I win the bet more often than not….usually based on my 35 years of experience rather than my reading of the text books. For the first time in the history of the fellowship, Harish won more bets than he lost. I hope this doesn’t mean that I no longer have anything worthwhile to teach, but I suspect, it’s Harish’s sharp mind, vast breadth of knowledge, clinical acumen and a little Indian karma!!!
Thanks for an incredibly enjoyable 6 months Harish. We wish you and your beautiful family the best of fortune in SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York.