The Impact Of Education

Providing educational and training opportunities to healthcare providers from resource-limited communities is a critical component of our mission because it multiplies the potential for patient care and enhances capacity building.  A traditional medical “mission trip” may have a one-time benefit for up to 20-40 patients. Training a local healthcare student or provider to better care for his/her own patient population may benefit hundreds. Educating someone who can train others – which is our goal – can benefit thousands.

We provide and support education and training through educational conferences, telemedicine, and various types of scholarship programs. 

One example of this is educational conferences in Hue, Vietnam done in collaboration with our partners at Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy.  Specialists from the U.S. and Vietnam have presented on topics ranging from regional block anesthesia to microsurgical techniques.  The conference in 2019 launched Hue University’s Division of Plastic Surgery and included a hands-on “boot-camp” teaching technical surgery skills.

We also use telemedicine to provide educational experiences to medical students and trainees.  Our teams use Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, and the like to stay in touch with patients and our network of local providers.  In conjunction with some of our medical trips, we broadcast or record telemedicine conferences from partner sites for medical students and professionals in the U.S. and abroad.  These conferences consist of academic presentations, clinical interviews with patients, and opportunities to view surgeries directly over the surgical field. These experiences provide exposure to medical cases, conditions, and approaches that improve overall professional abilities.  They also improve conference participants’ cultural competencies by giving them opportunities to remotely interact with patients and families from different countries.