Interview: Velina Markovska
The scientific work of Lora Nikiforova, an intern doctor from MU-Varna, was published in the Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology. This is one of the leading scientific journals in the field of Otorhinolaryngology, indexed in the prestigious list of Thomson & Reuters. The work of the 6th year student is dedicated to a rare case of laryngeal tumor - Hemangiopericytoma in a patient treated at University Hospital "St. Marina". Such localization of the tumor in the larynx is extremely rare – there are only 12 cases of this kind in the world. This case has provoked the interest of the team, and Lora started searching for scientific papers about it. However, she found out that most of the publications were written a long time ago, and it was very difficult to find them. Anyway, she managed to get in touch with some of the authors of the other cases and was able to compare them. The specifics of the clinical case, which Lora Nikiforova and her colleagues investigated, was that the tumor has atypical, with very rapid progression - a situation without any analogous description in the literature.
Lora says that the interest of scientific journals with a high impact factor in such clinical cases is not very high because with the development of medicine, the study of such cases brings qualitatively new information very rarely, hence they are published less frequently compared to the studies involving a larger number of patients or some new medical equipment. Nevertheless, she decided to transform the case into a scientific study, and it took her 3 years from the idea to its realization.
Lora, which was the most difficult part of the research process for you?
This project started when I was a 3rd year student, and the level I had reached during my medical education was lower. It has taken me a long time to find the articles and to express my findings in the appropriate academic style. Assoc. Prof. Sapundzhiev has rendered valuable assistance to me, both in the process of editing of the texts and also providing me with working instructions. I also had the pleasure of working with Prof. Patrick Bradley from England, who wrote one of the articles. He offered his assistance to me in the form of editing and consulting, which was of great significance to me. It was really hard especially because I was worried about the final result, and because it was my very first experience in doing that.
Do you feel more confident now that you have succeeded once?
Definitely, yes! I have also participated at the Black Sea Symposium, but this work is at much higher level. We are also working on new projects now because after this article I feel more confident.
You are an intern doctor. What is the most enjoyable experience for you in the clinical practice?
I like being in the operating rooms, I feel happy to learn new things. I feel the need to develop myself, to perceive where my weak spots are, what I do not know.
Is Otorhinolaryngology your future?
Yes, this is my desire, this is how I imagine my future. I think a person can find her future in plenty of specialties as long as she has a suitable mentor and the right people to support her.
How do you feel after your work has been evaluated so highly at international level?
Honestly, when I saw the article published, I definitely felt deep satisfaction because it was the result of plenty of time, energy, thought. I love creating texts because I can see the real results. The very process of working and the ability to learn from a person at very high level has helped me to understand that every single detail really matters.
You can read the article here