60 Seconds with Karolina Burkiewicz
Private Practice Manager/PA to the Relimb – Osseointegration and TMR Team
How long have you been a medical secretary at RFL PPU?
That will be since 2016.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
It is never boring, there is so much to learn and to be part of.
I am not saying that there aren’t moments when it is particularly challenging or busy, but it is never stressful or overwhelming; working for my consultants and my patients whilst being part of my team is simply fantastic.
It is more like working with friends and family, which is a natural outcome, given how much time we spend together.
I also think that the pandemic situation has brought us a lot closer and we are able to rely on each other when situations call for it.
You are responsible for quite a few consultants; how do you stay organised?
I noticed that the more I have on my plate the better organised I become! It wasn’t like that always. It is definitely a learning curve and it comes with experience. The more ins and outs of your job you know the easier it becomes.
It’s mainly prioritisation of tasks and determining the urgency and importance (e.g. I may need to interrupt low-priority tasks for urgent must-dos etc) , but I am able to do quite a few things simultaneously. I had to learn that there are many conflicting priorities of equal importance in my line work of. Having a large white board next to my desk as a visual aid of upcoming surgeries, clinics and meetings is also a great way to keep on top of my “to do” list.
I am also blessed with a good memory!
Congratulations on Relimb’s anniversary this month (April 2022)! Can you share some highlights of the past four years?
Relimb was founded in 2018 by Mr Kang and Mr Woollard and it has been truly an incredible success. We have successfully treated a great number of patients thanks to our unique surgical service. It provides amputees and people who suffered major physical trauma, with a range of reconstructive options, that can truly transform patients’ quality of life. In addition to osseointegrated implants for amputees, the Relimb team use this technology to fit other prostheses from ears to eyes and noses through the use of bone anchored implants.
We managed to establish a truly bespoke service, including a one stop shop Osseointegration and TMR Multidisciplinary Clinic that provides patients with a comprehensive health assessment and holistic care that makes a difference.
The surgical experience and expertise in the area of osseointegration and nerve regeneration, combined with partnerships we managed to establish cannot be provided anywhere else in Europe.
What does being a medical secretary mean to you?
It means being passionate about patient care, delivery of great service from patients’ first encounter with us to when they are discharged from the hospital following their surgery.
It means that I can be actively engaged in all administrative aspects of their care, which is arranging appointments, admissions, liaising with wider care teams (including case managers, solicitors and physiotherapy teams), which makes this job very exciting.
I have always been fascinated by technology, science and medicine and somehow subconsciously or maybe consciously I am drawn to these fields of work. Working with reconstructive plastic surgeons enables me to follow patient journeys and witness fantastic milestones they are able to achieve.
What do you do to keep fit, do you have any exercise regimes?
I would say my consistency comes and goes but I try to go to gym four times a week.
I do not drink or smoke and try to sleep at least eight hours. Also, when the weather allows it, I try to spend most of my Saturday mornings in the park with a cup of coffee and a book to kick off my weekend peacefully and harmoniously.
It is my little routine when I need some “me” time.
What’s your favourite film that you can watch repeatedly?
Lord of the Rings trilogy, anything sci fi and of course Friends sitcom
If you could be transported to anywhere, where would it be?
Either the PAST or the FUTURE…to see how it all started and where we are headed…and more realistically – Santorini.