[International Office] Interview with Dr. Kottikias
1) Please introduce yourself.
My name is Anastasios Kottikias. I am 36 years old. I am currently single (not married).
2) Where is your working place back in your country and what is your specialty?
I am a General Surgeon. I am currently operating at the Metropolitan General Hospital in Athens, Greece.
3) How did you get to know Severance? Why did you choose Severance as your training hospital?
I knew Severance because it is a world-leading hospital for robotic procedures and a high-expertise center for Upper GI malignancies.
4) How long is your training period in Korea?
5) Which area did you focus on during your fellowship at Severance?
My area of focus is the surgical management of gastric cancer patients especially via the minimally invasive approach. My training supervisor is Professor Woo Jin Hyung.
6) What is the most impressive feature of Severance Hospital?
There are many things that surprised me. First of all, when I first learned about the Severance Hospital I was impressed by the fact that it is a world-leading hospital regarding the quantity of robotic procedures, which were performed each year. Furthermore, many pioneer and opinion making doctors are offering their services here. Severance foundation and historical ties with the Western world and Christianity are also made an impression on me. Finally, its facilities and the quality of the services offered are of the highest level.
7) What are the specific contents of your fellowship program at Severance?
I am currently a clinical fellow at the Gastrointestinal Department. Specifically, my fellowship focuses on the surgical treatment of gastric cancer patients. The massive amount of gastric resections which are performed per year (approximately 1000), the application of the latest and most innovative surgical procedures, as well as the implementation of minimally invasive surgical techniques in 90% of patients, with 30% being performed via the robotic approach, offer me great opportunities to learn and use this knowledge for treating patients in my country. In addition, clinical research and scientific publication is part of my program.
8) What was your first impression of Korea?
I came here on September 2020, during the peak of the novel coronavirus outbreak. I have to admit that it was difficult for me at first, because of the mandatory 14-day quarantine when I first arrived and the general social distancing measures, as well as living in a country too far away from my home. As I have never traveled to Eastern Asia before, the people and environment were completely unfamiliar to me. But as time passed I have adapted and I would like to say that Korea is a lovely country to live in with really kind and very humble people.
9) What is the best memory so far during your stay here?
Again, I do not want to mention only one memory or time. A combination of healthy working as well as social life are of my best interest. Training at Severance, in a high specialized center is not only daily routine, but also a life experience. Furthermore, the previously mentioned people, Professor Woo Jin Hyung and my co-fellows, are also contributing in different ways each and everyone to my general positive experience.
10) Who are you most thankful for at Severance (who helped you the most) & why?
Undoubtfully, I would like to thank my Professor, Woo Jin Hyung, who accepted me as a clinical fellow under his supervision. His vision and accomplishments at his field are not only outstanding, but also motivating for my future career. I am also thankful, because I met another Greek fellow training at Severance, Dr. Pericles Koukourikis, who helped me to accommodate to Korea more easily during my first time here. Also, during the SIF-Prime Course I had the opportunity to make the acquaintance of several international fellows from all over the world and learn from their different cultures and mentality.
11) If you were to get the chance to come back, which field of clinical study would you like to focus on?
When I decided to come to Severance, I did so because I wanted to focus and specialize on Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery and Robotic Surgery at a high volume and expertise center. I am thankful for my decision, thus should I have the chance to return here, I would also apply for the same clinical fellowship.
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