Down to the broom and bucket and back to medicine
Doctor Černá, PhD, became interested in plastic surgery already when she was a student and has found her way to it although it has been rather sinuous.
Magazin ESTETIKA, Oktober 2007
Text: Vladimíra Storchová
Foto: Vlastislav Macháček and Dr. Černá archive
Shortly after her postgraduate diploma doctor Černá emigrated to Canada, where at first she lived through two tough years before being able to do her dream job. However, living abroad brought her a lot of valuable experience including doctor’s degree at university in British Columbia. Currently she is working at the clinic of aesthetic surgery, Laderma, in Prague.
How did you happen to choose plastic surgery?
Originally I wanted to dedicate myself to midwifery. I consider helping bringing children into the world to be one of the most beautiful professions within medicine. In the second year of university the today very well-known associate professor, Jan Měšťák, became our lecturer. He managed to win the students of medicine with his characteristic kind behavior and mainly with his skills. I think he was the one who definitely won me over for plastic surgery. I became charmed by his subject, which at that time was not very well-known here.
Isn’t surgery a typical area, where the men’s chauvinist opinion that women don’t belong there prevails?
I don’t think it to be particularity of surgery since it only reflects attitudes and opinions of our society. At the time when I was working on my postgraduate diploma, the ratio was about nine men to one woman. Surgery is extremely time demanding. Only few women can devote to it the way men can. And I understand certain belittling. Women are more often led by their feelings, which is given by their function as mothers, and in surgery it is important to keep a certain distance and ability to decide quickly. After all, even men have to leave sometimes since they are not fit for this area. But this doesn’t mean they cannot become great specialists within internal diseases. And it doesn’t mean there cannot be excellent women surgeons, either.
After managing to go through everything necessary and reaching a good position here you emigrated. Why?
Because my ex-husband had emigrated to Canada and my son had been missing him terribly.
You left everything behind because your son had been missing his father?
He was twelve at the time and that’s a period when a boy needs his dad perhaps even more than he needs his mum. And although his dad hadn’t been living with us then, they had spent a lot of time together. His dad lived nearby and my son could visit him whenever he wanted to. And all of a sudden his dad was gone, he missed him and wanted to follow him.
Was it difficult to start off?
Typical beginning after emigration: you work your way up through the bucket, rag and broom (literally!) towards better and better work opportunities, such as babysitting, taking care of old people, work in a lab… And as you get better grasp of the language and pass various courses, you slowly move up on the ladder of work opportunities until you reach the university level again. Two tough years.
Further studies at two other universities brought me back to medicine. First, I received Master’s degree from a two-year study at McGill Faculty of Medicine in Montreal and then – based on winning a competition I became a member of a university doctor studies team, which was concerned with breast cancer. That was already in Vancouver at the University of British Columbia. I was lucky to join a team of experienced specialists, give lectures and work at a clinic as well as on my own doctor’s degree.
How did you happen to come back to the Czech Republic?
All of a sudden my son became a grown-up, self-sufficient individual and the reason for my stay abroad, which I have never desired for myself, has passed away. Canada is extremely beautiful and cozy country and I am glad to have been able to get to know it and work at one of its universities as well as to learn more about its medical system, which is certainly not perfect, but which always treats the patient with a smile. I don’t regret staying there, but I felt being drawn back home. So in 1996 I returned and started from scratch again.
Do Canadian women worship the eternal youth?
Not at all, in comparing to American woman they are rather conservative. Most of them consider natural process of getting old as normal and matter-of-course.
And how do you personally view plastic surgery?
One thing is necessary to be said: plastic surgery, or rather one of its parts – aesthetic surgery – doesn’t solve any crises, but helps to remove physical disproportions and can help to mitigate manifestations of age. People should feel responsibility towards themselves and also should be good to themselves, allow themselves some pleasure here and there, spoil themselves a bit. And allow themselves to be spoilt. I know from my own experience that a woman who goes through plastic surgery is cared for by her whole family. Her husband drives her for the checkups and treats her with attention, pampers her. Her mother would for example look after her kids, prepare the meals and make sure she can recover soon after the operation. It is a kind of collective care and, as many of my clients have told me, it had been a very nice time for them. Additionally, the result of it all is better looks and therefore better feeling about herself.
So you recommend it?
I mainly recommend every woman to carefully think everything over. She has to be prepared for each procedure, I mean mentally prepared, she has to really want it. And of course she has to be all right and healthy. That’s the most important thing. I also appreciate very much when she reads something about it first, goes through various consultations and visits several clinics, compares the offers and then makes her decision.
You don’t mind the competition?
Why should I? Competition is healthy, clients should have the opportunity to choose as well as take advantage of this opportunity. Considering the procedures taking place here, it is important that there is mutual trust and perhaps even a certain liking between the doctor and the patient. How can you choose the best thing for yourself if you grab the first opportunity?
What in your life are you the most proud of?
Of my son, of course. That’s still the best thing I’ve ever managed.