This summer I had the pleasure of spending a week in Naples with Dr Rino Raimondo and his wife Ida, with the intention of learning about hysteroscopy - a specific imaging and surgical technique in the field of gynaecology. What I got out of it was a real education, not only in the medical science and technology, but also in the culture of Naples, and a true friendship with Rino and Ida.
My trip was arranged on a very informal basis; Dr Raimondo had only taken on three students prior to me, the first of whom had reached out to him as part of his final year elective. Since then the opportunity had just been spread by word of mouth and organised via email. To this end what I experienced simply consisted of what Dr Raimondo was doing that week, however he is keen to establish a formal week long course in hysteroscopy and is looking to take on a couple of students at a time starting from September.
Below I have written a breakdown of my week to give a taste of what it was like and some more information if this is something you might be interested in!
- Dr Raimondo gave me a sit down lesson on Hysteroscopy - the history and theory behind it and the different formats and uses it has in gynaecology. It’s a fascinating area which he is so passionate about, that he has decided to dedicate his whole working life to this end.
- He also explained the term ‘isthmocele’ to me - something he was partially responsible for naming.
- Diagnostic hysteroscopy - we went to Dr Raimondo’s clinic in the nearby town of Santa Maria, where he had a day full of patients. The reasons for presenting were varied, but each consultation ended with the use of the hysteroscope - an incredibly satisfying moment which would often answer the questions posed in the consultation.
- Dr Raimondo also explained how all the equipment worked and how to assemble the scope.
- Surgical Hysteroscopy - we went to the main hospital in the centre of Naples and spent the day in theatre, getting through a list of procedures. These varied from correcting a uterine malformation to aid fertility, removal of fibroids and polyps (I witnessed the largest polyp that I may ever see in my career) and resection of an isthmocele.
- While the surgery was interesting and I learnt a lot about anaesthetics, it was also fascinating to gain an insight into the working environment of a surgical team in Naples. The atmosphere was so friendly and laid back whilst also professional, creating a completely different experience to clinical observation in London.
- We returned to the Santa Maria clinic to carry out more diagnostic ‘office’ hysteroscopy. This time Dr Raimondo let me assist in the procedures by assembling the machine and sterilising the equipment.
- We spent the last day in the hospital in Naples, carrying out Pre-Op assessments. This was the middle step between diagnostics and surgery, so provided a comprehensive picture of the patients’ journeys through the process.
Overall, hysteroscopy proved to be a simple yet incredibly satisfying and life changing intervention for his patients.
Dr Raimondo is incredibly passionate about his specialty and equally so about teaching this to new students, whilst improving his English. He really made me feel part of the team, especially during the Wednesday surgery day.
Him and his wife were also kind enough to let me stay with them for the duration of my placement, so by the end of the week I felt like a part of the family too.
Dr Raimondo is very keen to take on more students from September 2018, all that is required is a passion for learning more about Gynaecology and Naples!
For sustainability reasons he is no longer offering his apartment as accommodation, but there are a selection of B&Bs nearby to the hospital.
If this is something you might be interested in, please get in touch!
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org - feel free to ask me any questions!
Dr Raimondo’s email: email@example.com