Monday, 22 October 2018 | News today: 0

The healthcare in Macedonia is on the move


First, tell us a bit about your professional experience, where have you gained a doctoral degree, on which university have you specialized and the clinics you have worked in?
Pierce: I attended the University of Florida where I obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1986 then graduated from the School of Medicine in 1991.  I am dual boarded and licensed in Internal Medicine (Graduated from Carolinas Medical Center in 1994) and in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Graduated from University Medical Center in Jacksonville, FL in 1999).  I am an Associate Professor in Obstetrics / Gynecology and Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System where I have practiced for 14 years.  Within the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, I was the Medical Student Director for 9 years then the Residency Program Director for 3 years.  My areas of expertise are in women’s health, postmenopausal medicine, general obstetrics, and gynecologic surgery.

You had the opportunity to be part of the training that the Ministry of Health of Macedonia implemented in public health facilities. What is your first impression of healthcare in our country compared to the country where you are coming from?
Pierce: The healthcare in Macedonia is on the move, improving the care for the people and encouraging physicians within the country.  While there are significant needs for the doctors providing care and for the people in need, I see significant progress from my first visit in the Spring of 2013 to now (November 2013).  The United States has had greater resources and expertise than Macedonia.  The Ministry of Health in Macedonia is actively investing in their infrastructure and healthcare practitioners to raise the standard of care in medicine and provide for the future.  There is a lot of work to be done but I see significant movement and hope.

In which Macedonian health facilities did you held the trainings? Did you use any new method or technique during the training process? And do you think that it will be helpful for the doctors and medical staff in the future?
Pierce: I spent 2 weeks at Skopje University and one day at the hospital in Stip.  I spent time working with the minimally invasive gynecologic surgeons trying to help in their practice.  We began laparoscopic simulation sessions for the gynecologic trainees that have been shown to improve operative skills and advance minimally invasive surgery.

What is your impression regarding doctors who were part of the training? Do they easily adopt new trends in health care in our country?
Pierce: Like all institutions and facilities, there are some people who are content in their ways and others who genuinely and earnestly want to advance.  The practitioners with whom I worked were welcoming, enthusiastic, and motivated.  We were able to share experiences, discuss problems, and strategize plans.  The vast majority of practitioners were open to change desiring to improve all aspects of medical practice.

They say good doctors are those who study through life, but in our country because of the gap created decades ago in the management of public health care, by this I think that because of  the lack of motivation and investment in new technologies, our doctors unfortunately were deprived of modern methods of training. According to you, how important is the system of motivation and constant upgrade of doctors, a model that in our country began to be implemented two years ago?
Pierce: Medical care requires knowledge, empathy, discipline, commitment, persistence, cooperation, ongoing education, and resources.  Physicians must have a love of people and a hope for the future.   For physicians to practice the art and science of medicine, they must be able to see their work making a difference in the lives of people and in the communities in which they work.  We all need incentives, encouragement, and vision to stay motivated, pursue excellence, and care for people in need.  

What would you recommend primarily to young doctors, students and trainees, what is the easier way for professional upgrade?
Pierce: After spending 12 years in medical training and over 14 years in practice, I am convinced that there is no easy road in caring for our fellow man.  Our practice of medicine requires on-going education, discipline, and cooperative effort.  We must share with our colleagues, teach the younger generation, and learn from our patients.  The love of patients demands a striving for excellence, a humility of self, and a heart of grace.