Benno von Bormann is a scientific advisor at Thailand’s government-owned and -operated Siriraj Hospital. While there are a number of foreigners working for government departments in Thailand and there certainly isn’t a shortage of foreigners working at private enterprises, meeting a German doctor working for a Thai hospital was definitely a first for me.
Having been a professional horse rider before taking up his medical studies, Benno certainly doesn’t show up with a run-of-the-mill resume. The majority of his career was spent as a head of a department of anesthesiology in a German hospital. Based on his experiences as a doctor working in emergency services, he even wrote a book that offers a look at what’s going on behind the closed doors of a hospital and inside the tense minds of its emergency doctors.
His very impressive publication record (close to 200!) and medical research covers a significant range of topics including ways to create artificial blood.
Aside from giving his thoughts on which TV shows and movies succeed in realistically depicting the inside of an emergency room, Benno also shares his own experiences that range from being called to an in-flight emergency, to arriving in Thailand on the day of the boxing day tsunami.
Today he is serving in a role in Thailand where he passes on his extensive training and knowledge to help improve processes and assist in research in the medical field in Thailand. It’s a kind of work that comes with a whole new set of challenges which he freely discusses in this episode of ‘Brewed in Bangkok’
A fair warning – this episode of Brewed in Bangkok is a bit more technical, talking about education, processes, management structures and best practices in the medical field in Thailand. It is however a look behind the scenes, that tells you more than ‘private hospitals can be expensive’ and ‘public hospitals have long queues’.
Mentioned in this Episode
- Siriraj Hospital – the largest and most well-known hospital in Thailand
- Bumrungrad Hospital – the private hospital recommended by Benno
- Das Hospital: Wie der Klatschmohn entstand – Benno’s German language book on his experiences as a doctor
- Grey’s Anatomy. Yup, we talked about that.
- House of God – a book recommended by Benno that is commonly recommended to young doctors.
- Coma – a movie with realistic depictions of medical procedures (albeit not motives) mentioned by Benno.
- Airwolf – the brainchild of the creator of Magnum P.I. and Battlestar Galactica is an iconic 80s action series featuring a supersonic helicopter that in the real world ended up as an air ambulance after the show was canceled.
Check out the complete collection of Brewed in Bangkok episodes. In case you yourself are looking for a patient’s perspective on medical care in Thailand you can check out this report on having a baby in Thailand and my own considerations and experiences I took into account when I picked a health insurance policy.