I will be visiting with Dr. Dino Aguilar and the physician training program in Managua, Nicaragua. The purpose of the trip is to share knowledge and experience in total hip and knee replacement.
During my stay I will be involved in didactic teaching in the classroom as well hands on teaching in the operating room. I will cover patient selection, surgical techniques and complications.
The patient population includes native adults with osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, osteonecrosis and other joint diseases.
My goal is to share information and improve techniques and outcomes of this underserved community.
I went to Nicaragua to share knowledge and experience, especially in regards to total joint replacement. This was my first medical mission trip, and I knew there would be logistical challenges with performing total joint surgery. As it turned out, I only got to do one total hip replacement while I was there. However, I was able to scrub several trauma cases with the residents. I also lectured on total hip complications.
While I was there, I spent time in the OR, the ED, and the clinic. I also attended there morning report each morning.
There is a huge need for total joint surgery in Nicaragua. They have a waiting list of patients who are waiting on implants. Access to implants is very limited. On my next trip, I plan to communicate with local doctors in advance and try to line up donated implants before my trip.
As far as people impacted by this trip, certainly many patients were impacted, either in the operating room, the clinic, or the ED. I hope the residents learned something from my being there. One of their senior residents expressed an interest in coming to our hospital and spending a month with me. We are trying to set that up now.
From my perspective, interaction with the residents and attendings there was a tremendous experience. Resources are very limited, compared to what we have in this country. They do a great job taking care of patients with limited resources. Can't wait to go back.
Health Volunteers Overseas is a nonprofit organization working to improve global health through the education, training and professional development of the local health workforce in resource-scarce countries. Visit www.hvousa.org to learn more.