Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tiffany Chao, MD, MPH  General Surgery Resident
  Massachusetts General Hospital
  Paul Farmer Global Surgery Research Fellow
  Program in Global Surgery and Social Change  Harvard Medical School / Children's Hospital Boston
JFK Medical Center
Monrovia, Liberia


My time in Liberia has come to an end and I am just returning to Boston from 5 weeks at JFK Hospital in Monrovia.

JFK Memorial Medical Center

Though time moved quite slowly there, I was able to accomplish my goal, which was to further develop the relationship between the JFK Surgical Department with Harvard Medical School's Program in Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC).  We accomplished this through a combination of educational initiatives, research infrastructure development, and clinical work.

From an educational perspective, I gave plenty of lectures to the medical students about all sorts of surgical topics.  I was even at JFK when the Department of Surgery was giving hospital-wide Grand Rounds, and, along with two of their surgical house officers, presented gastric ulcer disease:

Department of Surgery giving JFK Grand Rounds

From a clinical perspective, I was joined by my PGSSC colleague, clinical fellow Dr. Rowan Gillies, for a week at the end of my stay.  I was fortunate to join him for a couple of operations while the other local surgical house officers were busy.  Rowan, a Plastic Surgeon, has plenty of experience having been a former International Council President of the Nobel-Prize Winning Médecins Sans Frontières, so it was a real pleasure to get to work with him clinically!

Operating with Dr. Rowan Gillies

I made terrific friends out of the colleagues I met in Liberia.  In fact, one of the scrub nurses had actually worked with me before -- in 2008, when I was a medical student visiting Liberia from Mount Sinai Medical School!  In addition, there was even a scrub tech wearing scrubs that he had received from from Mount Sinai surgeons!  It is a small world.

 OR staff

While it was bittersweet to say farewell to JFK Hospital and Liberia, I look forward to returning -- hopefully, this spring!  We have research collaborations that are ongoing, and I plan to return with another one of the PGSSC clinical fellows as well.  I imagine that the cold New England winter will have me dreaming of the Liberian beaches!

No comments:

Post a Comment