My name is Tasmia Tahmid, a consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon in the UK. My journey to become a breast surgeon (a total breast surgeon) started after securing my MBBS from the prestigious Dhaka Medical College (which has been dubbed as the OxBridge equivalent of Bangladesh). My 1-year house officer training was conducted there – which presently, is the same as the Foundation Programme in UK.
Thereafter, my passions, dreams and hard work combined to generate my true aspirations in my head, “breast surgeon” – which, back in 1995, was in its absolute primary state as a subspecialty throughout the world.
I came to the UK, passed PLAB and started my basic surgical training as a senior house officer (now equivalent to Core Surgical Training). After this, I conducted higher specialist training as an SpR in general surgery for a few years, with breast surgery as 70-80% of my training specialty.
After my MRCS from Edinburgh, I gained oncoplastic training through a teaching breast unit in London. I then completed a Diploma in Aesthetic Surgery from Queen Mary to improve my understanding of aesthetic components of breast surgery and contribute to better patient outcomes.
I wanted to contribute my skills and experience to those who are in desperate need for high quality surgery in developing countries. I have now set up breast clinics internationally and am planning a future UK-modelled project involving expansion to include all cancers.
Outside my working life both nationally and internationally, I am a wife of a lovely and busy A&E doctor and mother of three beautiful children. I love cooking, thinking of innovative ideas for our home and work places and travelling.
What Do Breast Surgeons Do?
Breast surgeons typically lead breast units. Breast units consist of: a breast clinic, theatres, and oncology units. MDTs involve surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, nursing staff and oncologists. New patients are seen by a breast specialist and then patients have their imaging conducted (mammogram or ultrasound scan or both). If needed, patients have core biopsies done. This is all happen as a one-stop visit, usually.
Many Trusts in the UK now have physician associates, surgical care practitioners, and advanced nurse practitioners as regular staff to complement breast unit services, together with surgical trainees. A few units have a call workload for breast surgeons, as well.
Downsides to Breast Surgery
I honestly can say there are hardly any. It is competitive nowadays as a mix and match of cosmetic, aesthetic, plastic, vascular alongside general surgery training required.
Keeping in the Loop
For further information, you may be interested in the following websites:
The following link provides a fantastic summary of becoming a breast surgeon: