Nepalese surgeon learning from Westmead Private’s best
Dec 01, 2020
A Nepalese ENT surgeon is striving to become his country’s third Cochlear Implant specialist thanks to the in-depth training he has received at Sydney’s Westmead Private Hospital.
Dr Shankar Shah won the prestigious Rowan Nicks Scholarship to study in Australia and has been learning specialist techniques from Professor Melville da Cruz at Westmead Private and Westmead Public Hospitals.
Dr Shah said his goal was to learn Cochlear Implant surgery, get exposure to other surgeries and refine his middle ear techniques to take back to Nepal - because hearing loss and deafness is a major burden in his country.
“In Nepal, hearing loss mainly affects people from low-socioeconomic regions, and it is the number one cause of disability. People cannot go and contribute to society, they face social isolation and can’t get a job,” Dr Shah said.
“There are only two surgeons who can perform Cochlear Implant surgery in Nepal. I am hoping to become the third. I know it’s a mammoth task for me but there has to be a start somewhere, and this is my start.”
Dr Shah’s mentor Professor da Cruz said he had enjoyed teaching him new techniques as part of this scholarship program, administered by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
“Dr Shah is an established mid-career surgeon and it’s wonderful to help him further his skills. He will be a leader in his field and a very respected surgeon,” Prof. da Cruz said.
“Westmead Private Hospital has been very helpful with this program. It provides a rich learning environment for Dr Shah and we have the best imaging and monitoring equipment. In addition to learning the necessary surgical techniques for cochlear implantation, Dr Shah will also learn new ways to measure the impact of his surgical endeavors on his home country. He will have a very sound foundation to go back and perform these surgeries in Nepal.”
Dr Shah said he was very grateful to be mentored by Professor da Cruz.
“My time at Westmead Private Hospital has been very good. There are excellent clinicians and Professor da Cruz has been such an excellent teacher and wonderful person. He is very supportive of me and he wants me to be able to achieve my objectives when I get back home,” Dr Shah said.
Dr Shah is expected to return to Nepal in March 2021.