At the forefront of surgical innovation
Australia has led the way in embracing a transformation in vascular surgery over the past decade, with a dramatic rise in the use of endovascular procedures, says Associate Professor Anthony Freeman.
The Sydney-based vascular and endovascular surgeon’s entry to the specialty coincided with a revolution in vascular surgery.
“I did general surgical training and had the opportunity to do vascular surgery at a time when innovative endovascular surgery was starting to take off,” he says.
“I found it really interesting in terms of being able to provide patients with minimally invasive solutions to manage vascular illness, and I took the opportunity to get involved.”
Vascular surgery is often “high stakes” as patients face life- and limb-threatening conditions, but he says it is rewarding because patients often benefit immediately.
Associate Professor Freeman is a supervisor with the Australian and New Zealand Society for Vascular Surgery training program, and lectures in the Master of Surgery at the University of Sydney.
He says the Masters degree provides a bridge between undergraduate teaching and surgical training programs, broadening doctors’ knowledge base and giving them a taste of various surgical specialties.
While technical surgical skills are important, he says doctors need to develop other skills to become a good surgeon.
“Collaboration, communication, leadership, situational awareness, and decision-making – these are the things that really set surgeons apart.”