Committees  |   April 2015
A Global HRST
Author Affiliations
  • Quentin A. Fisher, M.D., FAAP
    Committee on Global Humanitarian Outreach
Article Information
Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Critical Care / Education / CPD / Ethics / Medicolegal Issues / Patient Safety / Radiological and Other Imaging / Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Quality Improvement / Committees
Committees   |   April 2015
A Global HRST
ASA Monitor 04 2015, Vol.79, 48-49.
ASA Monitor 04 2015, Vol.79, 48-49.
A recent piece on National Public Radio (“Volunteer docs in Peru take a shopping trip to look for patients”)1  highlighted challenges of carrying out a successful surgical short-term mission, which utilizes volunteers effectively and addresses expectations in the host community. While it is not likely your experience, nor the NGO you volunteer with, perhaps you have seen or heard others talk similarly about less-than-favorable ventures abroad. Insufficient patients available, hosts failing to notify hospital staff of your impending visit, discovering another group had just been at the site and teaching the same materials you had prepared ... these are only a few of the stories we have all listened to while assuring ourselves that our missions are different, or that these events are just part of the business of international voluntary medical service. But these occurrences not only undermine productivity, they also demoralize the local community and discourage participants who expected worthwhile use of their most valued resources: time and effort. Can we challenge ourselves, our universities and our NGOs to transform water cooler sighs into forces of yet greater significance? Could the success of common best O.R. practices transfer to our efforts in the global humanitarian scene?
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