Aleksandr V. Sazhin, Doctor of Medicine, professor, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Department of Intermediate level surgery №1 of the General Medicine Faculty, Head of the University Clinic named after V. Savelyev, Director of the Research Institute of clinical surgery of Pirogov Medical University graduated from the General Medicine Faculty of RSMU in 1995.

- My choice of profession was influenced by my parents. My mother is a gynecologist, my father is a surgeon. When I was 14 my father offered me a summer job as a hospital attendant that I accepted. I worked in the operating unit where I had an opportunity to observe operations and understand the nature of surgery. Two years later I could not imagine myself in another profession.

However, I was not quite fond of surgery from the very beginning of my studies at the University. The studies were so difficult that for the first three years there was no chance for any extra hospital shifts. On the 4th year I began to master my first operations in the vivarium and go on shifts. Being on summer practice in the hospital where I worked as an attendant back at school, I finally felt like a doctor. Then I began to manage surgical patients and perform my first operations.

Our teacher, professor S. V. Tarasenko, had a great influence on young surgeons. He personally guided each student of the group during their first abdominal operations. After completing my residency I returned to the hospital where I had started working as an attendant, wishing to master laparoscopic surgery. There were a lot of operations, a lot of opportunities to learn, which I regard as luck. It also was a great luck to assist my father and then to perform laparoscopic operations independently.

In 2002, I was appointed an associate professor at the Department of General surgery of the Pediatric Faculty of Pirogov Medical University. In 2006, I defended my doctorate on "Endoscopic Surgery of the Operated Abdomen" and in 2007 was elected Head of the Department.

After becoming the Head of the Clinic, together with a team of like-minded people, I set a course for active surgical and scientific work and worked on the development of minimally invasive interventions in General Surgery and Abdominal Oncology.

2016 was quite eventful: I was offered to head the Department of Intermediate Level Surgery № 1 of the General Medicine Faculty, was elected a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the University clinic named after V. S. Savelyev was created. Every year the clinic performs more than 10 000 surgeries and cooperates with surgical schools in the USA, Europe and Japan.

Advice to current students:

  1. Do not rush to become a specialist, remain a student. Lay the foundation.
  2. If you do not want to learn anymore, if you feel disgust to drugs, anatomy or to severe patients, then perhaps you are at the wrong place. Consider changing your profession.
  3. Constantly improve your English. Nowadays it is the language of all the scientists in the world. Be part of the international scientific society.
  4. At the last courses, decide on the specialty. Better once and for all.
  5. Immerse yourself in the specialty with complete dedication. Prepare for hard work. The more time you spend in the hospital, the faster and deeper you dive into the specialty.
  6. Learn constantly - from colleagues, books, on the internet, in training centers, at medical congresses, in leading clinics.
  7. If you have achieved something, remember that there is a colleague who is better than you - improve your skills, there are no limits in medicine. If you think that you have achieved everything – it`s a shame, it`s high time to finish your career.
  8. Take care of yourself and your loved ones, quit bad habits, do sports. A doctor needs it.