[International Office] Interview with Dr. Evangelista
1) Please introduce yourself.
Name: Mona Rae Evangelista
Age: 36, turning 37 on February 27
Family members: I am the eldest among 2 children. My mother, father and younger brother are all engineers. I am the only doctor in the family. I have a son who is a smart and good boy.
2) Where is your working place back in your country and what is your specialty?
The Medical City in Metro Manila, Philippines
Obstetrics and gynecology
3) How did you get to know Severance? Why did you choose Severance as your training hospital?
Severance has been the pioneer in Robotic Surgery in Asia. Also, two of my senior co-residents, who graduated ahead of me in my residency training, went to Severance hospital for fellowship training as well. They gave exceptional feedback on their experiences here.
4) How long is your training period in Korea?
5) Which area did you focus on during your fellowship at Severance?
Minimally invasive surgery – laparoscopy and robotics in Gynecology
6) What is the most impressive feature of Severance Hospital?
As my job description is inside the operating room in the cancer center, what impressed me the most are the equipments, machines, and instruments. They are all new and up-to-date.
7) What are the specific contents of your fellowship program at Severance?
I am learning techniques in laparoscopy and robotics, in both benign and malignant gynecologic cases.The trend has been geared towards minimally invasive surgery, which – when done efficiently, can reduce the patients’ hospital stay, recovery period, and overall morbidity. It is aesthetically pleasing as well, as there is reduced scarring after the operation.
8) What was your first impression of Korea?
Korea is so hip and modern.The country has been popular all over the world for its exciting K-dramas, cool K-pop artists, awesome skincare products, and of course good food.
9) What is the best memory so far during your stay here?
My best memory of course is my experience in the hospital, specifically in the Yonsei Cancer Center operating room. The staff, residents, fellows and professors have been so warm and has made my daily experiences very worthwhile. I feel like this is my second home.
10) What are your thoughts and feelings about the way Korea is dealing with COVID-19, and what is the situation like in your home country?
Korea has been outstanding in dealing with Covid-19. In my country, contact tracing has been a challenge. This is in contrast to Korea, wherein each person has his own QR code that is used to enter restaurants and other public establishments – for more efficient contact tracing. Covid testing has been very quick and efficient for anyone coming in the country, or anyone who has symptoms. Masks are wore everywhere and at all times.
My country, the Philippines, have fluctuating numbers of daily Covid cases. My fellow countrymen are not so lucky in terms of having free Covid-19 testing. Most people still pay for a large fee because not everyone has a health insurance, and not all types of health insurance cover the fee for the Covid test.And as stated previously, contact tracing has been a primary challenge. Therefore, the government just emphasize the importance of social distancing, wearing of masks and face shields – while waiting for the Covid vaccine.
12) Who are you most thankful for at Severance (who helped you the most) & why?
I am most thankful to Professor Kim Sang Wun. He has been so accommodating in my stay here in Korea. He has been so patient as well, teaching me not just the surgical techniques but the principles behind it. He has been considerate, especially when I have to attend to some emergency personal or family matters. We sometimes have meals together after work – sometimes in the operating room cafeteria, sometimes outside the hospital (along with the other residents and fellows) - and during those times, he would be so approachable and we would have nice conversations about my goals and aspirations in my career path.
13) If you were to get the chance to come back, which field of clinical study would you like to focus on?
I would like to focus on gynecologic oncology, and the updates and trends in the surgical and medical management of different gynecologic cancers.
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