a way for me to love. With that in mind, especially in
rough spots, I turn to the scriptures, and sometimes to
this statement by Mother Teresa for clarity: “We are
not called to be successful. We are called to be faithful.” This is my individual view of why I do what I do.
What can the ACS and OGB do to help?
The ACS and OGB are already helping by creating
and inviting people to contribute to the database of
volunteers and opportunities. I would love for us to
have an ACS Surgeon Specific Registry for our international work. When we have the time, we enter our
data into the database, but I am not sure volunteers do
this consistently. It would be illuminating to compare
my thyroid or hernia outcomes with those of surgeons
doing similar work in similar contexts in other parts of
the world. The data boxes would need to include some
factors like water sources, operating room set up, availability of energy sources, and so on.
Also, with regard to the educational work, it would
be helpful to share curricula across continents. SAGES
is doing some work with an international laparoscopy
curriculum, but I believe the College can contribute
a quality improvement curriculum and other educational resources.
Lastly, The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery
work gave us a beautiful map of surgeons and areas of
shortage and challenge as part of the Global Surgery
2030 campaign. It would be great to be able to map the
work that surgeons do through ACS OGB and compare
it with those that the commission has identified. I can
only guess that millions of private dollars are spent
annually on work like ours. We need to work smarter.
I think it would be helpful for someone who is thinking about pursuing this work to look at the map, see
what areas are not being served, and maybe go there
and start learning. Similarly, it would be great to identify
areas in which overlap occurs. We run into other volunteer health care provider groups at the Manila airport on
occasion, and it makes me wonder about redundancy.
If we are in this work then we have a responsibility to
distribute resources in a way that not only demonstrates
good stewardship, but more importantly, in a way that
is most helpful to the community. ♦
Clockwise from left: Jeremiah Deneve, DO, FACS, surgical oncologist, University of Tennessee
Health Sciences Center, Memphis; Mr. Renato Zalamea; Thomas Knipe, MD, otolaryngologist,
Bellevue Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic (ENTC), WA; Anh Truong, MD, otolaryngologist, ENTC;
Marienelle Maulion, RPh (seated), surgery resident, University of the Philippines, Philippine
General Hospital (UP-PGH); Stephanie Busby, MD (seated), surgery resident, University of Tennessee
Health Sciences Center; and Dr. Leyson (back facing us), general surgeon, UP-PGH
SEP 2017 BULLETIN American College of Surgeons