Aug 12:Each day, I meet new children for preop evaluation, brought by smiling family members huddled at bedside in the Pingliang People’s Hospital. In the faces of the parents, I see a combination of fear, concern and hope.
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August 6: Dealing almost daily with the unexpected and with schedule changes are the rule on surgical trips to underserved areas. Each trip is unique in the nature of the challenges.
August 3: I just finished the first case of our schedule here in Pingliang, China, reconstructing a cleft lip and nose deformity in a 12 year old girl. The team is relieved that the case went well: there is a tension until we get the first case done and know we work well as a team and with the local hospital staff.
I received a phone call, late Wednesday night requesting I join International Medical Relief team going to Port au Prince,Haiti. We left Friday night, encountering an obstacle,Saturday morning, with security refusing to let our team board our connecting flight from NYC. Apparently, they lost authorizing paperwork. We were diverted to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and took a 10 hour van ride to get to Port au Prince.
My role here has been as a primary care doctor and as a reconstructive surgeon tending to wounds of varying complexity.