Developing countries have many challenges that create barriers to safe and effective healthcare. The Global Outreach Initiative was created to encourage residents to develop a more global perspective on healthcare and foster interest in contributing to underserved areas of the world. This opportunity will give residents a valuable and unique experience in gaining an understanding of the complex issues that define global health.
For this elective rotation, a resident and a UC Irvine anesthesiologist faculty member will choose and arrange the volunteer opportunity. Together, they will join a volunteer group for one week and travel to an underserved area of the world to provide anesthesia service to the local community.
Residents will experience providing anesthesia in another country with potentially vastly different equipment, resources, and environment. Our goal is for our residents to become advocates for the advancement and safe practice of anesthesia all around the world.
March 10 to March 18, 2016
Dr. Diana Phan, class of 2016, volunteered at the medical mission in Santa Cruz, Bolivia with Operation Smile.
Since 1982, Operation Smile has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children and young adults in developing countries who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities. It is one of the oldest and largest volunteer-based organizations dedicated to improving the health and lives of children worldwide through access to surgical care.
As a resident, I was blessed to have been part of an international medical mission that has affected me in such a positive way. With the help and support from the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care, I joined Operation Smile for their mission to Santa Cruz, Bolivia in Spring 2016. I was part of an international team assembled to perform cleft lip and palate surgeries to hundreds of local children over a one week period. The lessons I learned ranged from technical skills needed to provide anesthesia with much less of everything, to communication skills in order to work with a makeshift team of various languages. But, most satisfying is my new relationships with the other volunteers, a group teeming with positive energy, adventurous personalities, and pure altruism. I am already looking forward to my next mission!
- Diana Phan, MD (Class of 2016)
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