Interview: Dr. Joel Joshi Otero

Dr. Joel Joshi Otero is an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon trained in Seville, Spain.
He later worked for three years as a Specialist in Hamad Medical Corporation (biggest governmental hospital in Qatar). Afterwards, he got accepted for further training and subspecialized in Facial Cosmetic Surgery with Professor Maurice Mommaerts in the European Face Centre in Brussels, Belgium. This one-year fellowship is granted by the European Association of Oral and Cranio Maxillo-Facial Surgery.
El Dr. Joel Joshi Otero es cirujano Oral y Maxilofacial formado via MIR en Sevilla, España. Después de finalizar la residencia ejerce durante tres años como especialista en el Hospital Gubernamental Hamad Medical Corporation en Doha, Qatar. Posteriormente realiza el Fellow de un año en cirugía cosmética facial concedido por la Sociedad Europea de Cirugía Oral y Cranio Maxilo-Facial en Bruselas, Bélgica, bajo la dirección del profesor Maurice Mommaerts acabando el pasado mes de Febrero. Dr. Joel Joshi Otero was a speaker at 3DHEALS VIGO 2017 EVENT. 

Jenny: How did you first encounter 3D printing? What was the story? 

Joel: My first encounter with 3D printing happened the first day started the facial cosmetic fellowship in the European Face Centre (EFC) in Brussels, Belgium. I remember vividly how the Department had a continuous sweet starchy smell of Poly-lactic acid(PLA) fused deposit modeling (FDM) printers which seldom stopped. Usually, you would have to contact a specialized company that would deliver in a couple of weeks the bio model or manufactured object. The EFC had the printers, a specific licensed software to modify the files along with the haptic mouse which made the modeling so much easier. Even with such a simple desktop 3d printer, the possibilities were endless; surgical guides, bio models for surgical planning or for describing treatment to patients. We realized that we could not find in the literature a clear guidance to the European regulations when using additive manufacturing in a healthcare facility, so professor Maurice Y. Mommaerts (head of the Department) and I decided to work and solve this issue. Because of this a very nice paper came out recently.

(LINK: 3D printing regulations in European healthcare facilities: Are they clear enough?)

Jenny: What inspired you to use 3D printing? 

Joel: Maxillofacial surgery is a very technical specialty. When planning our osteotomies in the theatre we have to be very precise. A millimeter away can drive us far from the facial harmony we strived for. With 3D printing, the planning is more precise and the outcome can be more standardized, which is what every surgeon wants.

Jenny: What is the biggest motivation for your work? 

Joel: I finished my studies and have started my own practice. Soon we hope to use our own 3d printers in the new Department we are developing in Hospital Recoletas Burgos, in Spain.


Jenny: What is the biggest challenge in your work? 

Joel: The change from a big, organized, and resourceful center to a small one that’s just beginning to see the light is dramatic. Beginnings are hard and exciting in equal proportions.

Jenny: How do you plan to conquer this challenge? 

Joel: The clinical fellowship along with my background has provided me with a clear goal of where we want to go. I have used (and gotten used) to 3D printing in our field. After that, there is no turning back. The network discovered returning to Spain through 3DHEALS has proven very useful. I did not expect so much passion in Vigo last November when you (Jenny Chen) and Dr. Pedro Martínez Seijías along with Felipe Iglesias team worked out such a diverse hardworking crowd aiming for the same goal.

Jenny: What is your vision on the potential impact of your current work to the future of medicine?

Joel: My specialty, oral and maxillofacial surgery, is particularly prone to carry the flag of AM in medicine. From surgical guides in dental implants to customized 3d printed titanium prosthesis. It has already become an essential tool many departments that allow professionals to develop healthcare treatments in a fast and reliable way. Soon most standardization processes including this technique will be the norm.

Jenny: What are you passionate about? 

Joel: I am a perfectionist by nature. I love a beautiful face. That means one that is symmetric and harmonic. 3d printing helps you diagnose and treat patients through different means like bio models, surgical guides or customized 3d printed titanium prosthesis.

Jenny: What is the biggest risk you took in your career? 

Joel: I was well established in the University Hospital Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha, Qatar when I got the possibility to do a clinical fellowship in the European Face Centre in Brussels. My family and I packed everything and returned to Europe. It was an exciting time leaving everything and going to Brussels for this unique experience. Now that I finished the fellowship I have returned to Spain and we are currently settling down. So far everything is working out very well. I hope we have many professional adventures ahead!

Jenny: What do you enjoy in your spare time?

Joel: I love kite surfing, hiking and running. Lately, I get to drive a lot, so audiobooks have become my companions and I find them to be a wonderful way to learn and enjoy on the go.

Jenny: What else do you want to share with us? Jokes? Good stories? =)

Joel: I like this quote very much,

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.-C. Darwin.