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Interview with Dr Valeri Kulev of Tokuda Hospital, Sofia

I managed to steal an hour of the lovely Dr Valeri Kulev's time, and asked him a few questions about himself. Why he became a doctor and a surgeon.

Along with his choice of field and some of the things that we take for granted as to how they affect our children and the natural progression of ENT related issues.


I first asked Dr Kulev why he became a doctor. He's always had an interest in biology and chemistry and at a young age was faced with the dilemma whether to become a vet or a doctor.

 

Over a period of time being a doctor started to take his interest more so it progressed to win the dilemma. He then went on to explain that his decision to become a surgeon was influenced by peer pressure, as he went on in his younger years to do an internship at an ENT department this coupled with suffering similar problems as a child gave us the talented surgeon we have today.

 


I went on to ask him about different cases he'd seen in his career and if one in particular had stayed with him. He explained that in the field of ENT there are no two cases the same. Ranging from the minor illness of runny noses and sore ears of young children to the more serious aspects of oncology each case has its own bearing on him as a person and each case is as important to him as the next. He also stressed that for him the complete satisfaction came in knowing he had the knowledge and skills to help a choking child and watch them breath again or in five years time seeing someone who has recovered from cancer. It became very clear in the interview that Dr Kulev invests a part of himself in every patient he sees, also in the medicine he uses to treat them.
We went on to talk about Tokuda Hospital and what it has come to mean to him. With a definite warmth he describes how the hospital has given him the opportunity to put into practice all his medical training. Also the team that has become the ENT department, function like a family and the management of that family brings one hundred percent of each doctor to the patient.


I also asked him if he found a difference in working with both cultures. He explained to me that to him the only difference he had noticed over a period of time was that there is a richer understanding of medicine in other cultures although Bulgarian people are starting to change that.
We went on to discuss working with children, this seemed to bring a note of affection to his voice and a certain twinkle about him as he describes how working with children is easier, but the key for him was becoming their friend rather than their doctor. Something tells me the
child in him is very much alive in there.
After that we talked about the effects the Internet has on people and parents diagnosing themselves and the dangers a little information can bring. He also talked about the methods of surgery that the team uses as a whole, here again it became very apparent that the
department functions as one unit, each case is discussed based on research, experience and the most up to date information the decision is made as a team rather than just one doctor.
We covered a vast range of topics to do with ENT. Which included the geographical influence, environmental and globalisation affects that also come into play when dealing with different ENT related diseases in adults and children. As well as the possible genetic link.
All in all probably one of the most interesting hours I've spent, talking to a very inspiring person.

 

Visit the website for Tokuda Hospital.

This Interview was conducted for Quest Bulgaria by Joanne Nicholas