I plan to work with a well established organization, International Volunteers in Urology (IVUmed), in Mozambique. In general, IVUmed's goal is to address the lack of available care through specialized intensive trainings and distance learning opportunities. Their volunteer health care providers not only provide much needed care to underserved populations, but also work to instruct local practitioners. This trip will be focused on pediatric urology.
This project will directly benefit the patients we care for, as well as the health care providers we train (and their future patients).
This project will certainly impact the local patients and providers. It will also impact me - I plan to continue medical mission work as a part of my overall career trajectory. I have done global health work in the past in Kenya and South Africa, with a primary focus on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, but have not had the opportunity to do global surgery work yet.
Traveling to Mozambique with IVUmed was an incredible experience. It was a great reminder of how fortunate we are to train and practice the way we do - not only are there no pediatric urologists in the entire country of Mozambique, but there are only three practicing adult urologists. There is also no fluoroscopy and no pediatric cystoscopes - which is to say, no capacity for placing ureteral stents or for ablating posterior urethral valves, two essential urologic procedures. I saw more pathology in one day of clinic in Maputo than I've seen in three years at one of the most specialized tertiary care centers in the United States - extrophies and cloacal anomalies and ambiguous genitalia abounded. Although the physicians and nurses with which we collaborated were grossly under-staffed and under-resourced, they had an extraordinary capacity for optimism and forward thinking. The residents there learn how to operate from books and YouTube as often as they do from faculty, and during my stay the whole team (as in, for the entire country) was made up of one newly minted attending and two eager interns. During the week they spent operating with our team they acquired the ability to manage a host of pathology that previously would have gone untreated. I feel so grateful to have been part of this trip - I would not have been able to go without the financial support of Doximity!