Updated: Jun 30
Today we have an interview with Dr Laura Lippa, neurosurgery consultant in Livorno, Tuscany. Thank you Dr Lippa for offering us a window into your life, work and interests. We are so excited fro be sharing such an inspiring interview. We also have a research paper by Dr Lippa on capacity building and social responsibility in neurosurgery, so please do take the time to read this too.
Meeting the need: capacity building and social responsibility in neurosurgery
Laura Lippa and Angelos Kolias, 2020
Read via the link below or find the PDF here.
Can you tell us 3 things about yourself?
I am a 34 year old consultant neurosurgeon currently working in Livorno, on the magnificent seaside of Tuscany, while living in the magnificent countryside near Siena, where I was professionally based before, and where my daughter attends her grade 1.
What is/are the hat(s) you are currently wearing professionally?
I don't cover specific formal roles besides my consultancy - however I take part in several committees, namely the EANS YNS committee, the WFNS YN Forum, the SINCH TC committee, the EANS Neurotrauma Committee, the WFNS-WHO Liaison Committee; I'm also a SoMe Editor for Acta Neurochirurgica and belong to the WFNS Newsletter Editorial Board.
Can you tell us a bit about what it/they entail?
Being the most junior consultant in a non-university facility I feel absolutely lucky, learning lots more from my fellow colleagues - while we share all the tasks, I know I can count on them and that makes all the difference. I can't stress enough the importance of the human factor in enhancing a day.
What does one of your typical day (incorporating those roles) look like?
Wake up at 5.30, travel to work (podcasts are my saviours!), handover briefing if not
straight to the OR, then it's either on-call phone, outpatient clinics, full rounds, paperwork, check school, check nanny, more OR, more on-call, more paperwork. Each coffee triggers some SoMe check, a small chat with colleagues who can be anywhere in the world, assessing emails. I use nights on call for studying and writing as much as I can.
Can you tell us about your research interests?
My main clinical research interests are TBI and neurooncology. Trauma is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, yet its research is vastly underfunded and represents a huge unmet surgical need. Global Surgery has helped establish injury management as a global health priority - advocacy is directly related to clinical adequacy.
What is the paper (published or not) you are most proud of and why?
The one I'm most proud of is actually one I didn't author myself :). It's the first global
neurosurgery themed paper ever published on Acta Neurochirurgica, by Dr. Uche, and I am proud to have co-authored its editorial with Mr Angelos Kolias. There are several others I cherish dearly for different reasons.
What does Global Neurosurgery mean to you?
Global Neurosurgery combines my belief in healthcare cooperation and togetherness with the profession I love so much. Some people I share this interest with have become like family - I found my tribe.
What do you see as being the biggest success in Global Neurosurgery?
In such a short timeframe so much has been measured, so much has been achieved. We need to begin with the 2015 Lancet Commission on Global Surgery and the Bogota Declaration in 2016 to understand how committed this community is. The major successes on a global scale are the WHA resolutions 68.15 and 71.2 passed in the last two World Health
What would Dr Lippa of 2020 say to Miss Lippa first year in medical school?
Keep the fire going and cherish your reasons why. It will ALL be worth it.
What do you think Miss Lippa, first year in medical school, would say to Dr Lippa if she was talking to you today?
This is the thought I go to sleep every night with: did I betray that girl today somehow? That's the hardest question of all! I hope she would be merciful - I hope, somehow proud of the values and the spirit I live by - they stayed the same from day 1. I guess she would tell me not to quit dreaming.
When and where were you happiest?
Hugging my father after my graduation.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My 4-yo saying to a kindergarten classmate who bumped his head: "Do not worry, mum will open it up, fix it and close in a snap!" - quote - to which he started bawling louder.