The person to start our new “Success Story” project is Konstantin V. Puchkov. He graduated from the Faculty of General Medicine of our University in 1988 and earned an M.D. Now K. Puchkov is the Head of Clinical and Experimental Surgery Centre, Professor of RSMU Department of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Faculty of Additional Professional Education.
“I made up my mind with becoming a surgeon being a 2nd year student. I spent that year assisting, going on duties and learning more and more about surgery. That helped me to make the conclusion that one should be very good with their hands to become a surgeon. So I began to learn to play the guitar and practiced tying surgical knots wherever I could – at home, at university, at work and even going by bus or trolleybus. When I became pretty good at doing that I put on latex gloves and covered hands with jam to imitate sticky blood and tried to tie knots simulating a real-life operation. It was important to act and move on automatic pilot.
When I was a 5th year student I took first prize in a surgery contest arranged by the University. That is how I became its representative at All-Russian Surgery Olympiad in Perm where I won the third place and was invited to All-Union Surgery Olympiad as a member of the Russian team. We took first prize there and I got the opportunity to apply to clinical residency right after graduating from University.
I was a resident at the Department of Surgery. In two years after I had finished the postgraduate program I earned a PhD in Medical Sciences (1992) and it took me 5 more years to become an M.D. I was only 32 then. By that time, I had 15 inventions and patents on different kinds of laparoscopy surgical procedures which were not a common practice worldwide at that time.
In 1995 I took part in founding a specialized department of laparoscopic surgery and gynecology that was the first of the kind in Russia. A bit later a special course in minimally invasive surgery became available at RSMU Department of Surgery of the Faculty of Additional Professional Education. It can be fairly stated that a scientific school focusing on new developments in surgery was founded then.
Being a 3rd year student I was employed as a nurse at the Department of Surgery at Regional Clinical Hospital. Years later I left the clinic being its Head.
Now I’m the Head of Clinical and Experimental Surgery Centre and Swiss University Clinic “Swiss Clinic” in Moscow. Yearly I usually have over 40 masterclasses in laparoscopy and minimally invasive surgery in Russia and abroad. I also keep in touch with RSMU teaching residents and training doctors.
In 2018 together with my colleagues we managed to launch a free educational web-site “Best World Surgeons” where everyone can see video records of operations conducted by proficient surgeons.
I’m grateful that I had an opportunity to choose my favorite specialty as it helped me understand the meaning of life. My purpose in life is to enjoy what I am doing, to see that I am developing and moving forward. It may seem strange but our best teachers are us. We assess ourselves: if we are happy we get “A”, if we are not “F” is our mark. It’s us who choose to make life interesting and wonderful or boring and miserable. It’s important to remember that only our deeds matter. The more proficient a doctor is, the more satisfied he feels and the better care a patient gets.”