Experience Dr. Vivek’s first-hand account of his fellowship with TF’s local partner, ABMSS
After completion of my post-graduation in maxillofacial surgery, I was thrilled to be accepted to study under the comprehensive cleft team at the ABMSS Kolkata Cleft Centre, starting in January 2020.
From the beginning of my cleft surgery fellowship, I worked not only with surgical teams, but with orthodontic specialists, speech therapists and nutritionists to name a few! I learned how important cross-specialty collaboration is for children born with cleft who face a long rehabilitative journey even after the initial surgery.
In addition to surgical training, I also became involved with patient outreach, working with social workers in remote areas near Kolkata. Together, we connected with over fifty families to provide them with cleft resources and educational materials.
When COVID restrictions came into effect, our first priority was to maintain a connection to families through virtual consultations and appointments. Following all government guidelines, my surgical training was able to continue and my skill and confidence grew, even under the challenging circumstances of the lockdown.
I am very grateful for the training and mentorship ABMSS and Transforming Faces provided. With only two months left to complete my fellowship, I am proud to be able to perform cleft lip repairs and experience the most rewarding part of my training: bringing smiles to families.