Resident Scholar Reflections

Emma Ester Bendaña, MD
University of Rochester
Deschapelles, Haiti – November 12-19, 2011
Mentor: Dr. Robert Edelstein

Dr. Bendaña’s service in Haiti was made possible by a generous grant from the Northeastern Section of the AUA. Dr. Emma Ester Bendaña traveled to Deschapelles, Haiti with mentor Dr. Robert Edelstein to collaborate with Haitian hosts in the provision of urological care to patients in need. Dr. Bendaña evaluated over 100 patients and participated in 14 cases during the workshop.

About her experience, Dr. Bendaña stated:

“My trip to Haiti in November of 2011 opened my eyes to another world of urology. Even though I had some experience in traveling abroad to developed and developing nations – it was my first medical trip as a trained urologist. After four years of residency experience in Rochester, New York – I had the ability to analyze and problem solve urological issues and situations. I left as a new person and urologist. Haiti provided me with a setting to develop my skills further as a surgeon and challenge myself to solve problems.

“In Haiti, we had limited equipment and instrument accessories. It became a challenge to provide high level care with a limited set of instruments. As a result, my skills were pushed to their limits and enhanced. There was no room for indiscretion. Accurate histories were needed to appropriately plan for procedures based on our limited equipment and intra-operatively an accurate diagnosis was needed so that only the equipment that was needed was opened. Our goal was to use our limited one-time use instruments to their maximum without waste.

“It was an honor to work with the residents and other attendings in Haiti – and understand their own struggles and challenges as they do their best to provide outstanding care for their patients. In residency it is easy to get lost in the paperwork and mundane nature of the business. I needed an awakening and this trip gave me several opportunities to open my eyes.”
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