What does one say about a colourful person who is larger-than-life and whose personality is so loud, that it silences all those around? If you know or have met Vijay, you know exactly what I mean. Vijay came to us from the auspicious halls of Duke University, arguably the best brain cancer centre in the world. We were told that he was a good resident, an innovative thinker with several patents to his name, and a hard working resident. We were not told that he was once a stand-up comedian, who has a wit that is sharper than a box-cutter and quicker than a rattle-snake. We were not told that he has self-confidence that makes confidant people like me look like church mice.
Vijay WAS a good resident and he WAS an innovative thinker and he did a superb job with his patient care. But more than that, he entertained us, amused us, and taught us some valuable lessons in life…..all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!
I will miss him very much, but I know that he will continue to bring joy and warmth to all those lucky enough to work with him.
Bledi is quietly spoken and reserved both socially and professionally. I noticed his manner on our first interview and was secretly a little worried that we may not click in both arenas, at work and at play. Within a week of working closely with Bledi, any reservation I had was dispelled. He typifies the expression, still waters run deep. He demonstrated warmth and compassion to all patients but especially those who needed a bit more time to accept post-operative deficits or a terminal diagnosis. He’s a great listener but his paucity of words doesn’t mean he doesn’t contribute to clinical decision making and complex clinical scenarios. On the contrary, when Bledi has something to say, people listen. In the operating room, he showed exceptional dexterity and sound insight into controversial situations.
My running joke with Bledi was that he was the only fellow who refused to reduce his meat intake in deference to my veganism. While I was a little upset with him…. for the animals sake…. it is illustrative of Bledi’s strong personality and conviction….. sad for the animals but comforting for his patients who can be reassured he will be uncompromising in their care.
I really enjoyed my time with Bledi. He was a stable force during some trying times for me personally and professionally. He was fun to be around, incredibly trustworthy and a compassionate clinician. We wish him the best of luck for the future and look forward to hearing great things.