Turkish physician who is applauded by the world
Having achieved many successes to date, Prof. Dr., whose surgery in Izmir was published in America. Fatih Şendağ makes a name for himself with this operation.
METİN BURMALI (NEWS CENTER)
He is the hero of a success story that started in Adana and reached İzmir after a long journey full of troubles and hard work. President of the Turkish Gynecological Endoscopy Association and Ege University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Prof. Dr. Fatih Sendag. He has achieved many successes so far, but Şendağ, whose operation in İzmir was published in the USA, has made a name for himself with this operation. Prof Dr Şendağ, who became the first Turkish physician to perform the robotic removal of the uterus through a single hole, answered the questions about the secrets of his success to Yeni Asır Newspaper for the first time.
- Why did you choose İzmir?
After graduating from Çukurova University Faculty of Medicine, I won the Ege University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1993 for my specialty education. My first years, that is, my adaptation process, were a bit difficult as I did not know anyone here like a friend or relative. Meanwhile, I met my wife Handan, who is an Embryologist at Ege University IVF Department, and we got married in 1997. In 1998, when I got my expertise, our first child Çağan was born, and in 2003 our daughter İpek was born. While I was making plans to return to Adana, I decided to continue my career here upon an unexpected offer from Ege University, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and I have been in Izmir with my family for 20 years.
- What kind of work have you done?
During my assistant professorship and associate professorship periods, I was mostly working on closed surgery. '1 in 2002. I held the Aegean Gynecological Endoscopic Surgery Symposium. In 2005, I was elected as the General Secretary of the Turkish Gynecological Endoscopy Association. I became a professor in 2011. In Turkey, there was not enough laparoscopy training in obstetrics assistant training, so I started to train gynecologists by creating the first and only training program in Turkey in 2008, together with Onur Bilgin. We invited 5 obstetricians to the program that lasted for 1 month and organized 3 times a year. We also started the first robotic surgery courses in Turkey. We gave the first course in 2012 and we have organized 4 courses so far. It was necessary to go abroad to receive this training, but we opened the doors of this robot to our physicians at Ege University in Turkey. We have shown that this job can be trained in Turkey as well. Although few people share what they know.
- Why don't some people share what they know?
There are definitely many good surgeons and teachers like me in Turkey. One of the biggest problems in Turkey is that people do not share what they know. Some people always say, "Why are you teaching?" said. I've always been ignorant of criticism. I did not look at the situation from an economic point of view. I have a perfectionist and idealistic nature. Due to my position, I believe that I should share information. If some obstacles are removed, there are successful teachers in many subjects. If they are valued, I think many of our colleagues will share their knowledge. Because when you share information, you never shrink, you grow. We must share. I've always done this all my life. This is a relay race. I'm taking delivery of the flag and trying to raise it up. Those who come after us should raise this flag to higher levels.
- Have you thought about going abroad?
Sometimes, of course. This question should also be asked. 'You may be a very nice person, but how much does this country value you?' Because if you look at it today, most of the people who are successful in their field have to go abroad. Why? Because your institution, university, ministry or state do not value you. You cannot find the opportunity to develop and maybe you have to go abroad just because of this.
5 thousand experts from 80 countries watched
- Then what should be done to prevent the brain drain?
Think of a university. Even though you do not have a duty, you work selflessly and you do it even though you do not have to do this extra work. You do not have to create a training program for Turkey and you want to serve this country in some way. But it goes up to a certain extent in the works done for free. Maybe by changing the perspective of the university; He should say, 'People who do extra work for us and work selflessly are valuable and we must show them the necessary value'. People who perform a job that is the first in Turkey should be cared for and supported. There are so many precious minds. They want to serve this country. Opportunities must be opened. Maybe this way, brain drain abroad can be prevented.
- For the first time in Turkey, you performed a live operation with robotic surgery, which was also watched in the USA. What did you feel?
At the world's largest laparoscopic surgery congress, namely the "World Congress of Gynecological Endoscopy" held in Washington, I successfully performed a uterus removal surgery by entering through the navel with the robotic surgery method. Before the live broadcast, which was watched by 5 thousand experts from 80 countries, a short 3-minute film was also broadcast promoting Izmir. I was so excited. Because the eyes of the world were on us. It was an important image for Turkey. Proud of my country and me. We successfully exited this surgery with zero errors. Many people from abroad and at home called and expressed their congratulations. I can say that we are one step ahead of the world in some details about the operation.
- What are the benefits of closed surgery compared to open surgery?
When we look at its general advantages, it is cosmetic for women as there are no cut marks. Patients are hospitalized in a short time and recover quickly. The pain is less and the risk of infection is close to zero because there is no wound.
- What is the perspective in Turkey?
Unfortunately, this awareness has not yet been formed in Turkey. Payments are quite low in this regard. Hospitals suffer from laparoscopy. Because you use a lot of materials. Trouble in terms of hospital administrators. This must be overcome. The state needs to allocate more shares in reimbursement policies. As the President of the Turkish Society of Gynecological Endoscopy and as an academician, we continue our efforts to disseminate this. We are trying to ensure that our colleagues can use this technique by organizing training programs in various parts of Turkey.
- Izmir is a candidate for EXPO 2020. The theme is health, what do you think?
İzmir is a candidate for a giant organization with a prominent health theme and this is an event planned to be held for the first time in Turkey. I think İzmir deserves this success. I would like to state that EXPO 2020 Izmir also overlaps with the main theme of health. Important work is being done in the field of health in Izmir. I hope we find what we hope for at EXPO. Because Izmir deserves EXPO.
"Children are entrusted to my wife"
- How is your social life? Can you spend time with your family?
My son Poyraz is 15 years old and my daughter İpek is 10 years old. In this fast pace, one cannot see how they have grown. Whenever I have time, I try to spend time with my family, especially on Sundays. We try to do something in common with them whenever possible. When the number of days I am not in Izmir is too many, my wife has a great responsibility here. She devotedly works for the children. He tries not to make them feel my absence. My wife has always supported and encouraged me. Without him, it would have been difficult for me to have been so successful. Other than that, I don't have much time for myself. Since most of my time is spent on plane trips, I have the opportunity to read a book on the plane.
- What is the secret of your success?
My students and people always ask 'how to be successful'. There is only one thing. Working, working and not giving up in the face of difficulties. First you will dream, you will work for it and you will see that if you keep working hard, you will never give up. One day you will surely reach the place you dream of. So none of these things require extraordinary powers. Every person can come to these points when they work. I think the most important thing is not to give up. To be able to continue in spite of all difficulties. If the fire in you continues to burn despite all kinds of negativity, you can succeed. I hope my story can be a light to my colleagues who see their future as dark.