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The day I decided surgery was for me…thanks to my Mother.

Authors: Vinicio Mosca, MD; Resident in General Surgery; Università degli Studi della Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli"; Napoli, Italy;; @Vinicio_Mosca

One afternoon my mother called me, saying, “I have cancer”. I remember the worry, the feeling of bewilderment, and especially the hurry to find the right surgeon for her because we did not know any. At that time, I was in my third year of medical school, having previously earned my bachelor’s degree in engineering physics. I decided to go to medical school after engineering because I was captivated by the course about complex systems: I was fascinated by neuroscience and how trying to understand the mind and brain could be applied to create artificial neural networks.

The news about my mother came like a bolt from the blue. Fortunately, everything went well; she was operated on immediately and recovered within a month.

After this episode, I became very interested in the world of surgery, the operating room’s complexity, the perfect balance a surgeon must have between medical theory and practical application, and finally, the ability to solve the patient’s problems, often with major surgery.

So, as a medical student, I began an internship in the surgical department of the largest urban hospital while completing my MD with a thesis in neuroradiology. At the time of residency, I was undecided whether to continue my radiology studies or opt for surgery, despite my doubts about the lifestyle and medico-legal issues that dominate this profession.

I decided to listen to my heart. I am now in my second year of general surgery residency. So far, I have found exactly what I expected. I enjoy studying heterogeneous and complex medical cases, knowing the intricate universe of the operating room intimately, and trying to act like a cog in a machine. Not to mention the exciting evolution the field is undergoing in terms of research and technology, i.e., with the use of robotic surgery and the integration of artificial intelligence into the operating room and modern clinical practice. I am happy that I chose this fascinating field.


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