This is about a cardiac surgeon who has some unique experience as a medical professor.
Original text from a half of the article, Front Runner, in a weekend extra “be on Saturday” of Asahi Shimbun, with English translation.

心臓外科医天野篤さんの記事です。
朝日新聞の土曜日別冊be on Saturdayのフロントランナーから、記事の前半の原文と、英訳です。

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腕一本で最高の治療に挑む

Self-made Surgeon Challenges to be the Best

順天堂大学心臓血管外科教授
天野篤さん(57)

Atsushi Amano (57), Professor, Cardiovascular Surgery, Juntendo University Hospital

ピッ、ピッ、ピッと心拍のモニター音だけが響く。10人ほどのスタッフが立ちあう手術室は静まりかえっている。
患者のかたわたの小さな椅子に腰をかけ、縦にまっすぐに切り開いた胸の内側に、超音波メスを入れる。上下に走る直径2ミリほどの細い「内胸動脈」をはがしていく。少しずつ、丁寧に。丁寧に。
この動脈は、患者がこれから安心して暮らすための命綱だ。心臓の筋肉に血液を送れなくなった冠動脈の代わりを果たす。だから大切に扱う。

Only a cardiac monitor sounded, beep, beep, beep in the quiet operating room, attended by ten medical staff.

Sat on a small chair beside the patient, Professor Amano inserted an ultrasonic knife into the patient’s chest, cut open longitudinally.  He peeled off “internal mammary artery”, some two millimeters in diameter, running up and down in the chest, little by little, carefully with the utmost attention.

This artery would become the lifeline that secures the life of the patient, replacing the coronary artery that can no longer send blood to the heart muscle.  There lay the reason he treated it with such care.

東京・お茶の水駅に近い順天堂大学附属順天堂病院。心臓が拍動する状態のまま動脈を縫い合わせる、オフポンプの冠動脈バイパス手術が進む。開始から約2時間、鮮やかで迅速な手さばきで、動脈にうまく血液が流れていることを確かめた。
今年2月の天皇陛下への執刀と同じ手法だ。以来、その名が一躍世に知られるようになっても、常にベスとを尽くす姿勢は変わらない。

It is Juntendo University Hospital near Ochanomizu station, Tokyo.  The off-pump coronary-artery bypass surgery was in progress, stitching up arteries while the heart was beating.  When two hours had passed, he confirmed that the blood was flowing well into the arteries, thanks to his brilliant and prompt handling.  It is the same method as the surgery he conducted on the Emperor in February.  While his name has sprung to fame since then, he maintains his regular attitude of always doing his best.

この日は午前9時26分に手術室に入った。患者は3人。1人が終わると次の患者が待っている隣の手術室へ。昼食は抜き。短い休憩で口にしたのはマスカットのブドウ3粒とスナック菓子だけだった。複雑な人工弁手術もあり、3人目が終わった頃は、時計の針が午後7時を過ぎていた。

He entered the operation room at 9:26 in the morning.  There were three patients waiting for him.  When the first surgery finished, he moved on to the next room.  His lunch was but three muscat grapes and some snack food during a short break.  He finished the third operation, including an intricate artificial valve surgery,  after the clock struck seven.

そんな臨戦態勢は日常茶飯事で、自宅が千葉県にあったときは、着替えを1週間分持ち込み、病院に泊まり込んでいた。今年、都内に引っ越してからも、自宅には短い時間寝に帰る程度だ。
「病院にいる方が気が楽で疲れませんよ」

Such a state of war preparation is an everyday affair.  When he lived in Chiba prefecture, he brought in changes of clothes for a week and stayed overnight at the hospital.  He moved to Tokyo this year, but he goes home to sleep for a short period of time.
“In the hospital, I can be at ease and never tired.” he said.

心臓外科医としての経験は異色だ。1983年に日本大学医学部を卒業してから、大学の講師や准教授のポストに就かずに教授に就任。海外で腕を磨いた経験もない。「純国産」。腕一本で人生を切り開いてきた。これまでの心臓手術は約6000件に達する。

He has unique experience as a cardiac surgeon.  He graduated from Nihon University School of Medicine in 1983 and he assumed his professorship without taking up the positions of lecturer and associate professor.  He didn’t train himself abroad, being genuinely “Made in Japan”, opening up each new path of his life with his skills.  Already, he has conducted 6000 heart surgeries.

教授を頂点に専門分野ごとのピラミッド組織である大学の医局制度に、違和感があた、という。就職先を世話してくれる一方、どこの病院に勤めるかは教授の意向次第。「学生実習の時、先輩外科医が手術で命のやりとりに関わっていないのを見て、医局に入ってもしょうがないと思いました。」

He felt that he didn’t belong in the medical school organization that has a pyramid system in each special field with a professor at the top.  The professor takes care of employment while deciding the hospital to work for.  “When I was a medical resident, I saw my senior surgeons who didn’t engage in any potentially fatal operation, which discouraged me from working in a school,” he said.

都内の病院で研修医をした後、手術を多く経験できそうな亀田総合病院(千葉県鴨川市)の心臓血管外科に就職した。米国帰りの上司は、若手にバイパス手術などを任せてくれた。

After working as a medical intern in a hospital in Tokyo, he found a position in the cardiovascular surgery unit of Kameda Medical Center, Kamogawa, Chiba prefecture, where he expected to experience a lot of operations.  The doctor, who had returned from the US, left bypass surgery in hands of young surgeons.

しかし91年にそこも離れると、医師向け雑誌の求人広告で見つけたのが心臓血管外科を新設する新東京病院(千葉県松戸市)だった。「就職したい」という電話に、同病院の部長は、学会で、積極的に質問してくる若者の名前を覚えていた。
初め無名だった病院の名を、多くの手術を成功させて評判を高めることに貢献するまで、時間はかからなかった。世界の中でも日本で急速に普及、進化してきたオフポンプ手術も、ここで始めた。

He left the hospital in 1991 and found New Tokyo Hospital, Matsudo, Chiba prefecture, which was newly establishing cardiovascular surgery unit, through a medical recruiting magazine.  In response to his phone call, a director of the hospital remembered the name of the young man who actively asked questions at an academic conference.

It didn’t take a long time to contribute to improving the reputation of this hospital out of obscurity with his successful surgeries.  Here he started the off-pump procedure which then has rapidly spread throughout Japan before the rest of the world.

自らを駆り立ててきたのは「誰にも負けない心臓外科医になる」という求道心。権威におもねらず直言する率直さ。ヒーローはアントニオ猪木さん、楽しみはパチンコという勝負師スピリット。
「将来、自分がこうなりたいという姿を描け。トップになるという意思を持て」
若い外科医達にも、そう鼓舞する。
抜きんでた才能に、日本の医療界は多くのチャンスを与えてほしい。「天野は特別」にしてはいけない。

What has spurred him on is a desire to become the heart surgeon second to none.  He is candid in that he speaks straightforwardly without flattering himself or others.  His hero is the wrestler Antonio Inoki and he enjoys a pinball game, showing his venturesome spirit.

“Image your future and what you desire to be. Have a will to become the top surgeon”, he inspires young doctors.
I expect the Japanese medical community to provide many chances to any eminent talent.  It should not regard the case of Professor Amano as an exception.

文・浅井文和
By Fumikazu Asai