Dr. Jakub Kaczmarek – 2024 Kumar Patel Prize Recipient

2024 Kumar Patel Prize Recipient for outstanding contributions to laser surgery education

Jakub Kaczmarek, DVM, Dipl. ECVS, Dipl. EBVS

I remember the first time I laid eyes on a CO2 Laser, a moment that marked the beginning of a transformative journey in my career as a veterinary surgeon. It was a crisp day in Barcelona during the SEVC, and the captivating display of this cutting-edge technology instantly drew me in. Little did I know, this encounter would lead me to Steve Nielsen, the man who would play a pivotal role in shaping my passion for this modality.

For 1.5 years thereafter, the CO2 Laser remained an elusive dream, a concept that lingered on the fringes of my professional aspirations. it remained so until a stroke of luck granted me an ECVS Residency at AniCura Kleintierspezialisten Augsburg, Germany, by DECVS Dr. Martin Unger. Shortly after, a CO2 Laser Course was scheduled at our clinic. Once again, I found myself in the company of Steve Nielsen and Dr. John Godbold. Little did I realize this encounter would be a game-changer for me.

The CO2 Laser Course was nothing short of amazing. I soaked in every bit of knowledge and was eager to delve into this new modality. Steve Nielsen and Dr. Godbold opened my eyes to the vast capabilities of CO2 Laser, and I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the invaluable lessons they imparted.

From that moment, my journey with the CO2 Laser began. The initial cases were a mix of excitement, challenges, and the quest to position the device for optimal surgical outcomes. I experimented with power levels, tackled difficulties, and gradually honed my skills, achieving better results for both my clinic and, most importantly, my patients. The process was challenging yet enjoyable, a continuous learning curve that fueled my passion.

As I progressed, I found myself venturing into surgeries that were once considered rare, thanks to the assistance of the CO2 Laser. Boundaries seemed nonexistent, and each case presented a new opportunity for growth and innovation.

However, my experience with the CO2 Laser was not just about surgical prowess; it became a profound teaching experience. I delved into the physics of the laser, understanding its interactions with different tissues, exploring various approaches, and ensuring the safety and benefits for my patients and their owners.

Teaching became an integral part of my journey. The 2019 ALSC Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, stands out in my memory, where I had the honor of meeting specialists like Dr. Berger, Dr. Winkler, Dr. Duclos, and Drs. Anna and Ziemowit Kudla. In addition, meeting Anna and Ziemowit for the first time in Phoenix made me very proud that we Polish vets are such a driving force in the CO2 modality in Europe. The CO2 Laser, coupled with Aesculight, afforded me the incredible opportunity to travel across Europe and the USA, sharing knowledge with colleagues and forming connections with remarkable individuals. An impactful moment in my CO2 Laser journey occurred at the European Dermatology Congress (ECVD) in Porto, Portugal. I had the privilege of co-teaching with Dr. Duclos, addressing specialists from dermatology all over Europe and the world. Sharing insights on laser technology, the experience underscored the universal impact of this modality.

Reflecting on it all, I can’t imagine my career and life without the influence of the CO2 Laser. It has been a beacon of growth and learning and the gateway to a network of like-minded professionals, shaping my path in ways I could have never envisioned.

The acknowledgment of the Kumar Patel Prize in my CO2 Laser journey is a moment of genuine honor. Beyond a personal achievement, it symbolizes the collective endeavors of those who collaborated with me, provided guidance, and shared a belief in the potential of laser technology. My sincere gratitude extends to everyone involved in this journey. This accolade is a reflection of our shared commitment, and I am genuinely appreciative of the collaborative spirit that brought it to fruition.

Dr. Kaczmarek Biographical Highlights

Jakub Kaczmarek, DVM, Dipl. ECVS, Dipl. EBVS commenced his academic journey by graduating in Veterinary Medicine in 2013 from Wroclaw, Poland. During his education, he also pursued studies in veterinary medicine in Vienna, Austria.

From 2013 to 2015, he completed an Internship at Tierklinik, Birkenfeld, Germany, where he later transitioned to the role of a junior surgeon. His dedication to advancing his skills and knowledge in small animal surgery led him to undertake the ECVS Residency Program at AniCura Kleintierspezialisten Augsburg from 2016 to 2019, working under the guidance of DECVS DVM Dr Martin Unger.

From 2019 to 2020, he served as a Senior Surgeon at AniCura Kleintierspezialisten Augsburg. In 2021, Jakub Kaczmarek achieved a significant milestone in his career by obtaining the ECVS Diploma, becoming the first and only Small Animal ECVS Diplomate from Poland. Subsequently, in 2021, Kaczmarek took on the role of Senior Surgeon at Tierklinik Elversberg, Germany, before transitioning to his current position as Senior Surgeon at VETACARE in Erftstadt, Germany, in 2022.

Dr. Kaczmarek’s dedication to advancing veterinary science is evident not only in his clinical work but also in his contributions to research and education. In 2018, he was honored with the Best Free Communication award at the 5th World Veterinary Orthopaedic Congress (WVOC) ESVOT/VOS in Barcelona, Spain, for his work on the mechanical performance of a new polyaxial locking system and the influence of screw angulation in a fracture gap model.

As an active AO Vet and ESVOT member, Dr. Kaczmarek has shared his knowledge and expertise through lectures across Europe and America. Additionally, he has contributed to the field through numerous published papers covering topics such as laser surgery, surgery, orthopedics, and biomechanics.