Dr. Chia-Chun Liu (Figure 1; Department of Thoracic Oncology, Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center, Taiwan) graduated from China Medical University, Taiwan in 1992. He has been to Duke University Hospital as an observer in 2007. Now he is an attending physician at Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center, Taiwan, as an attending physician. He focuses on minimally invasive thoracic surgery for lung and esophageal cancer, hoping to reduce the suffer of patients.
Dr. Chia-Chun Liu is a surgeon, focusing on minimally invasive surgery. When he was a young surgeon, he saw many patients suffer because of the open-chest surgery. And this is why he wanted to dedicate himself in minimally invasive surgery to reduce the pain from the patients. The five interview questions help readers have a chance to see Dr. Liu in a different way and understand more about minimally invasive surgery.
JTD: Could you please briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Dr. Liu: My name is Chia-Chun Liu, and I am a thoracic surgeon. When I was a child, my father hoped I could become a doctor. I was a naughty boy, who liked to make his own toys with hands. And one of the reasons I chose to be a surgeon was that I believed in my hands. At the beginning, I didn’t know why my father wanted me to be a doctor; later on, I found that doctors not only have the privilege to help the patients, but also can do something innovative, and even reduce sufferings. We all know surgery has advanced from open, big wound to minimally invasive surgery. I am very fortune to be born in this era when lots of instruments, techniques and needs for cancer surgery are all mature. Thus, I become more and more interested in this career.
JTD: When did you really want to become a doctor?
Dr. Liu: When I was a boy, I found that I was interested in tiny little things, such as catching fish and observing shrimps in a small river. What is more, I had great interest in biology when studying in senior high school. Actually I didn’t have an ambition on any particular jobs, so being a doctor is like a natural thing to me since my father hoped me to be one. I was also interested in art; however, the economic condition of my family didn’t allowed me to go overseas and study. But I am actually quite happy with what I have now!
JTD: We have read some of your news, and you once said that you left your personal phone number to your patients. We would like to know if any of the patients have contacted you?
Dr. Liu: I don’t leave my personal phone number to every patient, but to some patients who are older and might have risks after intensive surgery. The reason why I leave my phone number to them is that I would like to comfort the patients’ family, hoping them not to worry too much. Some doctors worry that patients might bother them too much, and to avoid this situation. I usually communicate with my patients first and ask them to contact me only when they really need help. Another important reason is that when patients have problems in the hospital, it is better to call me rather than ER because emergency doctors don’t know much about patients’ conditions and might make the wrong decisions. Thus, if they can call me when they are in need, I can help them at the right time to keep them safe.
JTD: There are many advantages of minimally invasive surgery, but some people think there are still some disadvantages. For example, to make the surgical wound as small as possible, it can cause a bigger invasion inside the wound. What do you think about this saying?
Dr. Liu: Patients come to us because they want to survive, not because they want to be more beautiful, and the goal of minimally invasive surgery is to cure as many patients as possible. In the time of open-chest surgery, patients suffered a lot because of big wounds. What’s worse, big wounds can easily induce the complications like infection and bleeding. The advantage of minimally invasive surgery is not just the smaller size of wound, but a clear view provided by the video monitor during surgery. And surgeons need to know that people won’t believe how good the surgery is if we only talk about the benefits. We also have to share the experience with more people through some academic platform, such as JTD. Through sharing the surgical videos, more people will know how minimally invasive surgery process is performed. Moreover, the teamwork during the surgery is also important; for example, if scrubbing nurse pays attention to the monitor, she or he will definitely know what the next step is and prepare things the surgeon needs.
JTD: Do you have any advice for young surgeons to improve their surgical skills?
Dr. Liu: The most important thing for young surgeons is to do the right things and do not easily compromise patients’ safety because of your own reasons. Discipline is also important. It means that you have to determine if the patient is suitable for minimally invasive surgery, and if you meet the surgical standards during the surgery. The last suggestion for young surgeons is that being a good doctor is not just about the skills, but the attitude, that is––Take good care of every patient even if they need you at midnight (Figure 2)!
Let’s enjoy the video (Figure 3)!
On behalf of the editorial office of Journal of Thoracic Disease (JTD), I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Chia-Chun Liu for the interview.
Conflicts of Interest: The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.
- Bai JY. Interview with Dr. Chia-Chun Liu. Asvide 2017. Asvide 2017;4:584. Available online: http://www.asvide.com/articles/1909
(Science Editor: Jia-Ying Bai, JTD, firstname.lastname@example.org)