A Year in Perspective

A Year in Perspective: PGY-5

by Brendan Fong, MD

Brendan Fong, MD

I chose to pursue a career in neurosurgery largely because of a close friend who was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme. That peaked my interest to learn more about treatments for brain tumors. After exploring the field, I found that I enjoyed the strong dedication to research and the intricate nature of the operations.

The best aspect of training in the Department of Neurosurgery here is the department’s commitment to ownership of patients. As a junior resident, I worked with two attendings and manage all of their patients every day. Because of that, I strive to know their histories and neurologic exams so that I was better able to care of them. The more I learned, the more I was able to handle increased responsibilities.

My junior residency was a great experience.  I had an opportunity to operate with a wide variety of attendings on the adult service and was able to pursue my research interests in depth.  I also spent over six months total at Children’s Hospital where I had the opportunity to work more closely with attendings and gain a more hands-on experience in the operating room. All of the attendings are very invested in my learning and teach me both inside and outside of the operating room. It’s great to have mentors who provide me with guidance both clinically and with research interests.

So far, we’ve had a fairly robust conference schedule in which we have opportunities to learn outside of the operating room and outside of our clinical duties. I think it’s great that we are provided such a diverse way of adding to our knowledge base.

As someone who’s lived in Los Angeles my entire life, I can honestly say this is a great place to train. I remember allotting an extra 15 minutes to find parking and ended up parking right in front of a restaurant! Within walking distance of the hospitals are restaurants, music venues and Forest Park, a huge resource right next door.

I’m looking forward to the rest of my training.

Fun interests: I play the guitar (sort of!)