Robin Kamal, MD
Robin Kamal, MD
Orthopaedic Surgery · Redwood City, CA

Training Hand Surgeons in Vietnam

March 26th
Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Project Description

I'm an invited international speaker on wrist injuries (distal radius and scapholunate) at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Hand Surgery Association of Ho Chi Minh City in the session, ‘Advances in Reconstructive Hand Surgery’. I will also visit Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City and continue the longstanding surgical collaboration with the surgeons and staff at Hospital 175, where I will be involved in teaching during cases, in the clinic, and through didactic lectures. We will also follow up the patients on which our team has previously operated. As a combined surgical and educational visit, we believe our presence will make a significant impact not only for the patients for whom we care but the surgeons and staff we train. By not just teaching surgical skills, we are able to build capacity and teach principles, of surgery, research, and quality improvement that can be carried forward and taught to multiple other surgeons and staff in the hospital and community, thus leveraging our impact and benefiting patients across Vietnam.

Population Served

This trip focuses on educating surgeons and hospital staff members from Hospital 175. Hospital 175 is one of the major trauma hospitals in Vietnam and serves a significant population of Ho Chi Minh City and the surrounding region. As a referral hospital, a large number of patients with devastating injuries will benefit from this project. As we will be teaching and conducting capacity building activities, our impact will be much greater than only those with whom we interact in person. We will be working with surgeons and staff members who will be able to take the skills and knowledge learned and bring this back to their communities. This hospital and population were chosen given the ongoing collaboration and partnership we have with Hospital 175. Post-operative follow up is critically important to surgical care, as is continuing in person lectureship and collaboration to build capacity and leverage our impact.

Expected Impact

The expected impact is to strengthen the partnership with Hospital 175, improve the surgical capacity of the local surgeons (surgical techniques) and improve the surgeons' abilities to continue their own education and quality improvement activities independently. We have continued virtual collaboration but nothing is stronger than in person lectureship, hands on teaching, and collaboration. The capacity building nature of this collaboration will leverage our impact as each surgeon and staff member will in turn not only care for multiple patients but also train many others surgeons and staff members. We strongly believe that instilling not only surgeon skills but principles of surgery, research, and quality improvement will allow us to have the greatest impact such that benefits of our visit continue long after we leave.

Trip Photos & Recap

I had an impactful experience providing an interactive session on fractures with around 100 hand surgeons/health care professionals at this meeting. This included providing lectures, asking questions and interacting with the audience and other speakers, and discussing complex cases with hand surgeons at the meeting. The impact of this type of exchange is difficult to quantify in that the cases and new techniques discussed will likely impact thousands of patients in the ensuing years. Thanks for the support in making this a success.