Exemplary Physician in the South 2023: Nanthaka Thepha-amondet, MD
PSU’s Faculty of Medicine organized its 38th annual academic conference under the topic “Novel Medicine for Mankind”, from 9 to 11 August 2023. During the event, PSU President Asst. Prof. Dr. Niwat Keawpradub presented the award “Exemplary Physician in the South Year 2023” to Nanthaka Thepha-amondet, MD, Medical Physician, Senior Professional Level Neurosurgeon, Surgical Section, Yala Hospital. Later, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Assoc. Prof. Roengsak Leetanaporn, MD, awarded prize money at the PSU Faculty of Medicine on 9 August 2023.
Nanthaka Thepha-amondet, MD, graduated from the Doctor of Medicine program at Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University. After doing her internship at Yala Hospital and Huai Yod Hospital, she received a scholarship from Yala Hospital to train as a specialist in neurosurgery at the Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital. After the training, her original plan was to work as a neurosurgeon at Yala Hospital for three years and return to Ramathibodi Hospital as a lecturer. However, seeing the suffering in the three southern border provinces, and the shortage of neurosurgeons in the area, she decided to continue working at Yala Hospital, where she is still located at present.
She handles an ever-increasing number of patients with complex cases at Yala Hospital, resulting in more efficient local healthcare and a reduction of referrals, which is especially important in the context of the three southern border provinces, where many patients find it difficult to travel. Currently, Yala Hospital can perform endoscopic spinal and brain surgeries, and awake craniotomy under intraoperative neuromonitoring.
As a proactive worker, she has organized a project to visit patients' homes, to monitor the quality of patients’ life after brain surgery, to provide them with comprehensive care. In addition, she has also worked in the management of cervical cancer screening, developing a patient care system during the COVID-19 pandemic in Yala province, coordinating with external agencies to look after patients in field hospitals and patients in the home isolation system, affecting around 1,000 patients per day.
She admitted that working as a doctor was sometimes hard and tiring, but there are many occupations that are harder and more tiring. Some people may be physically tired; some may be mentally exhausted. She said that what she gets from being a doctor is seeing self-worth, and saving other people's lives. She appreciates moments when patients walk home healthy, even when they first visit the doctor in a serious condition. Seeing the patient's family waiting to pick up a healed patient is a reward that money can’t buy, she explained.