What does a starfish have in common with a gallbladder? They both possess a fascinating beauty, at least when photographed by Dr. Geeverughese C. George. A surgeon and frequent traveler, Dr. George shares his photos and thoughts online at The Odysseys of George. In our recent correspondence, Dr. George discussed his background, photography, and some of the differences in Malaysian medicine.
Dr. Genes: For a surgeon, you sure seem to live life to the fullest! Is that your interpretation of your site’s motto, “Vita non est vivere sed valere”?
Dr. George: Well, living life to the fullest is something I aim for everyday. There is more to life than just work and career achievements. I enjoy travelling and thus I try to take some time away to do this. Diving was always something that interested me, but due to some reasons, I only managed to do it a few years ago — and since then I’ve never regretted it and never looked back. It has also made me indulge in photography more, as the beauty beneath the seas is awesome.
The Odysseys of George hosts Grand Rounds December 11, 2007
Dr. Genes: What camera do you use underwater? Is it the same as what you use for your pathology and OR photography?
Dr. George: I am using a “point and shoot” camera, and have yet to invest in a dSLR. I am using a Canon G7 with Ikelite casing and a strobe for underwater lighting. I use the same camera for my land and OR shots.
Dr. Genes: Because of your travels, you may have a better idea of what medical careers are like in other lands. How is Malaysia different? You’ve mentioned that half of Malaysian men smoke, that you see a lot of complications from uncontrolled diabetes; how does that affect your practice or your work schedule?
Dr. George: Malaysia is a developing country, and therefore there aren’t as many specialists or subspecialists as in the Western community. The health awareness here is just coming around, but we are still very far from reaching good or excellent healthcare service and goals.
Dr. Genes: How long have you been a surgeon? Are you specializing?
Dr. George: I am a general surgeon with interest in upper gastrointestinal surgery. I have been a surgeon for 3 years now.
Dr. Genes: How did you discover blogging? Do your colleagues know about your online activities?
Dr. George: Blogging came as an “incidental finding” while trying to find a mode of communication with my sister, who migrated to Australia. Then, my friends helped me get the hang of it, and the rest is history. Many here know of my blog, and I am not anonymous. Blogging is common, but whether it is accepted by my hospital is yet unknown. I suppose if I breach rules, then they wouldn’t be too happy.
Dr. Genes: What are some of your favorite posts? What do your readers seem to like on your site?
Dr. George: My favorite posts are actually my medical and diving ones. I notice that most readers are not too interested in political topics — they tend to respond more to my photography, which is very encouraging.
Dr. Genes: Readers will have an opportunity to see more of the world through Dr. George’s eyes when he hosts Grand Rounds on December 11, 2007. Visit his site to see the best in online medical writing from doctors, nurses, researchers, students, and healthcare professionals, all arranged and organized by Dr. George.