"Robotic innovation at Instituto Clavel is the best I have experienced during my stay here," says Dr. Jaiswal


Thanks to one of our training grants in spine surgery, Dr. Milin S. Jaiswal, Orthopaedic Surgeon with specialization in Spine Surgery, from India, has been able to have this experience with us. We have asked him to tell us how it was.

How did you learn about the Clavel Foundation training grant?

I visited Barcelona in 2018 to attend the Eurospine Annual Meeting. At that time, I was looking for a top specialist neurosurgery Institute in Barcelona and I came across Dr. Clavel's name and found out that Instituto Clavel hosted international doctors for an observership experience. After applying for the program, I was accepted. Therefore, I stayed with Dr.Clavel and his team for two weeks and I had a great learning experience. 

Over the course of my stay here I met one of the grantees who was completing a training internship at the Institute and he told me about the Foundation’s training grant program. So last year, when the Foundation opened the call for applications, I was very keen to come back here and I applied for a grant. 

Do you remember what your first day was like?

Since the day I arrived was a holiday, the next day there was a bit of confusion at reception, because the front desk coordinator had not yet arrived and the receptionist staff did not speak English. Thankfully within five minutes Dr. Clavel arrived. He recognized me and he said, “Wow Milin, you’re back here, nice to see you again! “. After we went into the meeting room and then to the operating room with the other doctors. There I was able to scrub up and attend the surgeries. And as usual it was a very busy day. 

Could you describe a typical workday at Instituto Clavel?  

A typical workday starts at eight o'clock during the week, except on Mondays. Monday starts at seven thirty early in the morning holding a short meeting session with all the team of doctors where they discuss the patients of the following week to prepare better for the surgeries. 

On the other days, we discuss and distribute the inpatients, share X-rays and images. Then we go on ward round to see the patients clinically. After that, one goes to the theatre. In just four weeks’ time we have done almost sixty surgeries, including major and minor surgeries. 

Do you feel part of the team?  

Absolutely! I feel integrated from the beginning. They are all very friendly. All the peers make great effort to make me feel part of the team, even in the meetings. Meetings are usually in Spanish because that's the language most of them feel comfortable with, but whenever there is an important point to stress on or worth knowing, they always make it a point to speak to me in English, so I am not left out of the important discussions.

And as far as question and answer is concerned, everybody is pleased to answer.

What do you think about the technology we have?  Have you learned new surgical techniques? Which ones?

Right now, robotic surgery is the last development of minimally invasive spine surgery. Accordingly, the Institute has cutting-edge technology. Specifically, the Mazor X system for spinal surgery, which is the current generation of robotic surgery, with which I had no previous experience at all. In comparison, in India we only have two of these machines installed all over such a big country.

The precision of this machine is excellent. Handling is also very easy. So other than new techniques, such as anterior and lateral approaches, I would stand out the Mazor X robotic system, which I think is the best thing I have seen across. 

What learning experience would you highlight from your stay at Instituto Clavel?

A training experience abroad has to face the fact that you are only an observer, and that, at most, you will be able to stand close to the medical team and watch the surgery, which on the other hand does not give a good view of what exactly is going on.

For this reason, I would like to highlight that only few Institutes around the world mostly in Europe and U.S.A. allow doctors to scrub up and actually participate as assistants in the surgery. This is the case of Instituto Clavel.  

At this point, I think it is important to point out the role of Dr. Català during my internship; he is not only a very good surgeon but also an excellent instructor. Every day he is teaching you something new. He will start right from the patient, go to basics, and step by step, explain the surgery, what problems can we face and how they are tackled. This one quality of Dr. Català is marvelous, I should say. 

How do you think this experience will help you to advance your career?

Certainly, this experience is a great step forward - working in a renowned Institute with such a good professional team. Also, some of the things I have learned here are not that commonly known in India. So definitely I will have the opportunity to introduce these techniques in my own practice back home. 

What will you do after completing the fellowship?

I will go back to India, of course I will miss the Clavel Institute. I am already attached to a few Institutes in India. So, let’s see how it works and try to introduce some of the improved surgical techniques that I have learned at the Institute.

Would you recommend the experience to other doctors? 

Yes, I would highly recommend it. Learning in such an environment, with a high level of knowledge and innovation, in a hands-on working background is always recommended to all young surgeons as well as for those who want to improve in their career.