Iryna Tverezovska is a gastroenterologist in hospital “Lorimed” in Ternopil, Ukraine, and is purising a PhD in NAFLD research at the National Medical University and L.T.Malaya Therapy National Institute in Kharkiv. In this interview, she talks about her fascination with the field of gastroenterology and her personal formula for success in professional development.
What was the key factor in your choice of specialization in gastroenterology?
I think my story is similar to many others. Everyone comes to medical university with a great dream about medicine in general and about their place in it. Almost everyone goes through the path of rebellious searching in medical school. At first, I found myself in the field of internal medicine. I was the head of the student internal medicine community, and received an offer to join the scientific work of the department, which provides research in hepatology. I realized that I love to study the metabolic intricacies of the liver, and to communicate with patients. My internship was on the gastroenterological clinical bases of the City Clinical Hospital No. 13 and the Institute of Therapy named L.T. Malaya in Kharkiv (Ukraine), and it allowed me to immerse myself not only in hepatology, also in digestive health. I love communicating with patients, advising them on all their concerns, and helping them with an individual approach to each clinical case. Actually, I decided to do my PhD research in hepatology also at the Department of Internal Medicine No. 1 of the Kharkiv National Medical University (Ukraine).
What does professional satisfaction mean to you, how do you think it can be achieved?
Let us be honest with ourselves. Medical work is an endless path, and no one guarantees that it will always be smooth. Professional satisfaction for me is a multi-component concept. The fundamental component is the health of my patients. Excellence is not only to prescribe a treatment course and to control it, but to inspire the patient to recover or help the patient to accept their disease. The next component is victory in difficult cases. Each patient is individual, and in any case the doctor is faced with increasingly complexi cases. My professional experience is certainly not great yet, complex clinical cases are a challenge for me. And I am grateful to my colleagues for the opportunity to ask them for advice. I got to know a lot of like-minded people and acquaintances with specialists in gastroenterology thanks to UEG. Networking is an important part of medicine; without the opportunity to consult with colleagues, professional development is impossible.
What three pieces of advice would you give to young professionals at the beginning of their career, based on your own experience?
At one of UEG's Career Development lectures, I heard a wonderful phrase that you can use as your professional motto. Our expert Dr. Ignacio Catalán-Serra said: "Work like a lion." Time is a very valuable resource. It is necessary to fill it correctly. You can only gain experience by working. It is important always to hone your skills in order to become a truly highly qualified specialist. The next tip is to keep learning. We must understand that our professional life is a dynamically changing concept. We are lucky to live in the era of information opportunities. GI professionals can find many resources for professional development in UEG community. Lectures, summer schools, fellowships, master classes. In addition, the third advice - do not be afraid to make mistakes. Perfectionism is good, but mistakes are also an experience. The formula is simple: each mistake reduces the risk of the next.