My philosophy on teaching is simple. How can we expect to learn and be taught by the best and not share this knowledge with others? We owe this to the next generation, the previously disadvantaged and every motivated ENT surgeon. I was also young, inexperienced and had a dream. My dream was to acquire all the knowledge and expertise and with that aspire to offer the best solutions to my patients. I had the opportunity to learn from the best. This I simply have to share. This is the only way to give meaning, establish growth and give clout to our profession.
I have been attached to the Department of ENT of the University of Pretoria (UP) since qualifying as an ENT specialist in 2001. I graduated under Prof Johannes Swart, worked intimately with Prof Herman Hamersma and had the experience to see Prof Andre Claassen perform surgery. All of these South African surgeons!
I also had the opportunity to travel, attend courses and visit surgeons overseas but in the end I have to confess that I have learned the most from my South African teachers!
Therefore I decided long ago that that teaching our own students and surgeons should be paramount. With Dr Herman Hamersma and Prof Andre Claassen we founded the annual “Bloemfontein Temporal Course” with Prof Thomas Linder as the main speaker. In 2011 I founded the biennial “Update in the Management of Patients with Vestibular Disorders” course, which I have now hosted 3 times. The last course was hosted in Cape Town in collaboration with Prof James Loock of the University of Stellenbosch. I am also privileged to teach at the Cape Town temporal bone course, the oldest temporal bone course in South Africa, hosted by Prof James Loock from the University of Stellenbosch.
In 2012 I founded the “Annual Cochlear Implant and Advanced Temporal Bone Dissection Course” at the University of Pretoria. I have hosted this with my committee on 4 occasions. With the last two courses Dr Kurt Schlemmer assisted me.
I honestly believe that the answer lie in the setting up of local teaching opportunities, where world experts are invited to teach on South African soil. This ensures more affordable and greater access to knowledge in the current economical environment.