Educational World Travel Map

Educational World Trip 2020

From January 2020 I will no longer work full-time as a Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeon. My educational world trip 2020 begins accompanied by a few assignments as trainer and speaker for Allergan. The travel plan is roughly: Wellington (New Work Models), Sydney (Aesthetic Surgery), Singapore (Private Clinic, Aesthetic Surgery), Bangkok (Big Aesthetic Clinic), Seoul (Even bigger Aesthetic Clinics), Tokyo (Plastic, maybe Hand Surgery)



For the last four beautiful years I would like to thank every single one of the Poeseldorf Clinic in Hamburg. Certainly here the patient is really still the centre of attention. Moreover I have rarely seen such a loving care for the patients. Holger, thanks especially to you! You have an amazing team. Thank you also for keeping the door to your clinic open for me. I will definitely stay connected to you and Hamburg!


I’ve done something like this before in 2011, only now the motives are completely different. At that time I was completely burnt out by the job. Now I feel like doing a lot of things for which I just need time. What I have in mind can be called a longer research or educational trip, which is about optimizing the professional environment of the next generation of doctors. At the same time, I will continue my professional training with excellent colleagues. This will be a full-time job and of course impossible without the help of other people who know a lot about this wide field.


The way physicians work today has changed a lot. You have to look at it with a little distance to see the whole picture. For example, doctors in my family didn’t have to maintain their Instagram account back then. Moreover they didn’t have to compete with private hospital chains that knew how to maximize profits. After all, some of them had experienced the Second World War, after which they were simply glad that they were doing well. They looked to the future with a lot of confidence, so they had many children in the baby boom years. The structures under which they worked, especially as surgeons, initially remained military and hierarchical. It was lucky to have a nice chief physician in the training hospital of your choice.


The students of the 60s did not find this state funny and chanted in 1967: “Under the robes – Muff of 1000 years.” But the muff didn’t have to disappear at all in medicine so soon, because in the 80s there was an oversupply of doctors. Only since the end of the 90s doctors could migrate to friendlier health providers promoted by a united Europe. However the training posts to become Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery were so coveted that I had to send about 80 applications to get two answers. So in this niche there was more demand than supply. Back then I have seen chief physicians who somehow remind me of Donald Trump. For these bosses the dismissal of a doctor was not a big issue, because you only had to take out the application file stack and pull out the next one.


At the DGPRAEC Congress in Hamburg in 2019, I heard two colleagues and friends say the following independently of each other: “I simply don’t feel like bosses any more”. The two have intrinsically high motivation and are well educated people who don’t hate their boss! But these professionals feel strongly restricted in their freedom to work as they see fit.

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

-Steve Jobs

Large companies such as Apple have long been experimenting with working groups that are largely independent and thus more efficient, creative and satisfied. Why can’t this be done in medicine? New Work is just a buzzword that conceals promising working models with a flat hierarchy. Joana Breidenbach and Bettina Rollow explain this very well in their book New Work needs Inner Work. The old patterns must be overcome in order to work according to today’s time and people’s needs. In 2020 I will devote a large part of my time to this topic in the medical context. I hope then to be able to enter into a lively exchange with you, dear colleagues* at Xing, LinkedIn or via my other channels from 2020.

I will use the rest of the time of my educational world trip 2020 to improve my professional and technical skills and visit colleagues, experts in their field, all over the world. One of my examiners at the specialist examination to become a Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeon in 2010 told me an important thing at this years annual conference of the DGPRAEC. When he heard about my plan he said: “I have the most beautiful memories and made the most instructive experiences on my travels”. I will tell you about these experiences with my international colleagues in the 2020.


Education, Network, Plastic Surgery

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