Throughout August at The Aberdeen Clinic thought it would be good to let you get to know the team. This week we are going to start with the boss, consultant surgeon Mr Ken Park.
The majority of the team have been with the clinic for a long time and the expanding family is always selected from people that we have built relationships which and know that they have the same principles as us to ensure we don’t lose our quality, service and most importantly the human touch.
We asked Mr Ken Park a few key questions, to help you get to know him better.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Getting out of bed in the morning is usually a combination of the alarm, a kick from my wife and the dogs wanting to be fed.
How would you describe your day job to a child?
I’d describe being a consultant surgeon to a child by explaining that it all about trying to help people get better. Sometimes I do that myself but more and more it’s about trying to get people seen by the right person to do that, and my job is to make that happen in our clinics.
What is your biggest achievement to date? Personal, or professional.
As you go through different phases of your life, your perspectives change. When I was younger it was various sporting achievements but now, I undoubtedly see my greatest achievement is being a husband and a father.
It’s the same with professional life, I am very proud of aspects of my research, developing upper GI surgery in Aberdeen, overseeing the first national audit of upper GI cancer and contributing to a more rational approach to this disease but I think the thing that I am most proud of is training a number of first rate doctors that I see doing great work.
In a way this is what I want the clinic to do, i.e. deliver the type of care I would want to deliver but over a larger spectrum of cases.
What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
Unfortunately, there are no typical days. I suppose my days are split between clinical days – in which I might be undertaking endoscopies, operating, or on other days auditing outcomes and taking appropriate actions.
An increasing part of my work is in the development of our services both locally and in other regions. At the moment my main areas of work revolve around developing endoscopy services in Essex, acquiring a facility just to the south of us and looking at working with other like-minded groups across the UK.
What three words would you use to describe your role?
3 words! “chief bottlewasher and drier”.
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be and why?
If I had to switch jobs with someone, I would swap with a young surgeon starting out as I think I can overcome a lot of the problems that I encountered as a young surgeon by using a different approach.
What is on your wish list for your next five years at The Aberdeen Clinic?
I want The Aberdeen Clinic to grow and fulfil is potential to deliver top quality healthcare to as many people as possible.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
As we grow bigger and inevitably employ more staff, ensuring that there is a productive and fulfilling working environment for them is of the utmost importance.
At the same time ensuring that the quality of service delivered by us is of the highest standard, and what I would expect is always at the forefront of my thinking.
Fortunately, getting the right people and getting the right work for them means that all of this usually takes care of itself.
If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
I have been very lucky in my career as I’ve worked with some truly inspirational figures:
- Professor Sir Patrick Forrest was perhaps the forefather of scientific approach to surgery.
- Trevor Crofts was a great surgeon but also a very warm and caring individual.
- Professor Arthur Li was the most effective head of department you could ever meet.
- Professor Sydney Chung is perhaps the most bright and talented natural surgeon I’ve seen.
However, I probably learnt the most from Alan Davidson here in Aberdeen both professionally and personally.
What do you like most about your job?
The favourite thing about my job is trying to deliver medicine the way I would expect to receive it.
When was the last time you laughed so hard that you cried?
When I was a trainee I was attached to a hospital where they had a VHS and two films in the doctor’s mess – Trading Places and The Blues Brothers. I remember being sore from laughing the first time I saw both films but by the 48th showing of each the reaction was a little blunted.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
My personal mantra is “when you make a decision believe in your choices and don’t look back”
What’s the most recent app you’ve downloaded by are yet to use?
I’m not great with Apps, my daughters have downloaded WhatsApp for me, but I can’t say I’ve really got to grips with it.
Given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?
Given a chance, I would have liked to be Muhammad Ali at the height of his career.
What’s your favourite film?
My favourite film varies dependant on my mood, but if I had to choose, I’d say the director’s cut of Cinema Paridiso as it adds a whole new dimension to the story.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Getting away from everyone on a Sunday and reading the newspaper.