Traveling Resident Scholar Highlight – Brook Brown, MD

DSC00165Through the generous sponsorship provided by SUFU, Dr. Elizabeth Brook Brown traveled to Dakar, Senegal with mentor, Dr. Kurt McCammon, to conduct a reconstructive urology workshop.

Reporting on her experience, Dr. Brown stated:

“I first became aware of IVUmed at the AUA that year, and knew immediately that IVUmed was something I would pursue. I have been involved with many mission trips for both church and school throughout my life, but the idea of participating in a medical mission in my chosen field of practice was an exhilarating prospect. Now, the dream that first began 6 years ago, has become a reality. As I boarded the flight to Dakar, I remembered back to that day at the AUA—the idea that my goal had actually come to fruition was quite surreal.

DSC00293“I thought this would expose me to diverse pathology, refine my operative skills, and allow me to assist patients that may not have access to healthcare—my trip to Dakar accomplished that, and much, much more.

“We were able to show them our operative techniques and gave lectures about urethral strictures, priapism, and Peyronie’s disease. In return, they showed us their surgical techniques, cultural traditions, and even taught me how to view Campbell’s on an iPhone.

“Participating in IVUmed, therefore, allowed me to operate out of my comfort zone both literally and figuratively. Having the opportunity to operate with Dr. McCammon, who employs different surgical techniques than many of my own residency staff, allowed me to grow as a surgeon technically, and again allowed me the opportunity to adapt in my foreign surroundings. Experiencing diverse cultures, learning new surgical techniques, witnessing vast pathologies, and helping patients in need all contributed to an amazing IVUmed experience for me.”RS_Lambert (90)

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Public Eye: IVUmed

An excerpt from “Of Albert Schweitzer and Global Urology”, Journal of Urology, Volume 189:

“Urology is in a unique position to play a significant role in the arena of global health based on several primarily urological conditions that are highly prevalent in the developing world. Many of these conditions, such as vesicovaginal fistula, female circumcision and HIV, are widely prevalent in Africa, and provide urologists unique opportunities to improve health and alleviate social suffering. Urologists have risen to this cause in a remarkable way. What has been inspiring to observe is the measurable impact being made by the individual and group efforts. While the service part of global health is important, one cannot but acknowledge the significant learning opportunities that exist for health care professionals on either side of this exchange.

IVUmed, led by Dr. Catherine deVries, has recognized this early and used medical trips to provide health care as educational opportunities for residents as well as health care professionals in the recipient countries. Through philanthropic support, to date, IVUmed has facilitated trips for 150 U.S. based trainee “scholars,” trained 380 physicians and nurses, and served more than 2,700 patients (Josh Wood, IVUmed, personal communication). As the focus shifts to controlling health care costs in the developed world and particularly in the U.S., lessons learned from practicing urology in a low resource environment in the developing world can facilitate innovations that may be more cost efficient”


Konety, Badrinath. “Of Albert Schweitzer and Global Urology.” Journal of Urology189.2 (2013): 411-412. The Journal of Urology. Web. 17 Jan. 2013.


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Traveling Resident Scholar Highlight – Jack Lambert, MD, Senegal



IVUmed team with local Senegalese staff.

Through the generous sponsorship provided by the Mid-Atlantic Section of the AUA, Dr. Jack Lambert traveled to Dakar, Senegal with mentor, Dr. Kurt McCammon, to conduct a reconstructive urology workshop.

Reporting on his experience, Dr. Lambert stated:

RS_Lambert (31)

Dr. Lambert working with long-time IVUmed partner, Dr. Serigne Gueye.

“We ate our ritual hotel breakfast – chocolate croissants, slices and ham and swiss and bread. We would quickly change into our scrubs after a cup

“Although it would have been nice to bring our own instrumentation to the OR, I think being in the environment in which you are forced to simply “make do” is important. We may not always have access to the best instruments or technology and it’s important for surgeons to experience operating in a resource-limited country. It gave me a new appreciation for our country and the simple things we take for granted.of coffee and head to the ORs. We reviewed the films for the day and Dr. Gueye would give us the case line-up and then we plunged in. This was the tone for the rest of the week, and as the week progressed I felt like we more quickly became integrated into their hospital and there became more of an exchange of surgical technique between the American and Senegalese

doctors. We did approximately 20 cases over the week and some of which we would rarely do in the United States.

“We had numerous exchanges which provided a pleasant camaraderie between our group and the doctors from Senegal. Also, on our final work day in Dakar, myself, Dr. Brown and Dr. McCammon each gave a lecture for the Senegalese staff and residents on several urology topics in seminar they organized for us to exchange ideas and understand how we might manage certain urologic diseases differently. This didactic session was very insightful and was a great way to the end our week with our wonderful hosts.”


L to R: Dr. Lambert, Dr. McCammon and Dr. Brown

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The right way to celebrate the holidays with your company


IVUmed would like to thank LABORIE for their generous donation in lieu of holiday cards to their employees.

As we further grow as society based more on internet communications and eco-friendly practices, companies are finding better ways to spend their holiday budget. Most times, employees agree with these shifts and take more pride in the company they work for.

As you are creating your budget for the 2013-2014 year, consider new ways of making dollars spent more meaningful.

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Blast from the Past

With the new year ahead, we thought it might be interesting to dig into the archives to look at IVUmed 10 years ago – here is an article from our Winter 2002 Newsletter, a direct account of a volunteer nurse’s experience abroad:

“Mongolia, Caught Between Old and New”

After a 1 a.m. start out of San Francisco and over 24 hours of transit we heard “on the left is the Great wall of China.” These words were enough to stir everyone from their comatose states and two of my fellow companions were stretching over my cramped window seat to catch a glimpse, soon

Ulaan Baatar3

we were flying over the vast Gobidesert of Mongolia. Tucked into this harsh desolate landscape were perfect little round white clusters, gers, made up of thick felt wrapped over a wooden lattice, which the local people live in year round. These amazing people are the Mongols, nomads who’s empire once stretched from Korea to Hungary.  We would be working closely with some of them for the next week. What was their world like?

Soon we landed in the capital, Ulaan Baatar (UB). UB is close to the Siberian Plateau, so the weather in early September is very much like early December.  Sandwiched between Russia and China, Mongolia is an interesting mix. Recently released from Russian control in 1990, Mongolia is trying to find itself. Tibetan Buddhism played a big part in the culture until the Russians took over in 1924, now only a few monasteries and temples still exist. The Russians brought some modernization, but also a dependence on the Mother country, which has left Mongolia with little of its own industry. Everywhere you see the strong contrast between old and new. People in their prime of life, who were born to herders living on the steppes, barely surviving winter, now walk the streets of UB dressed in the latest fashions, talking on cell phones. How can the mind span 100+ years in less than one generation? This is an example of how fast things are changing in parts of Mongolia. In other ways their world is as it has always been. Drive two miles outside this capital and it is still as it was during the reign of Chenngis Chan. Nomads on horseback tending their sheep, goats, yaks and horses.

We arrived at our ultra-modern hotel in the evening. All marble and glass with huge Buddhist Thankas (scenes of the life of Buddha depicted in cloth) in the dinning room. We had a panoramic view over the city with factories, gers, cars, horses, temples, and high sparsely forested mountains all cloaked in smoke from the eighteen or so forest fires that plague the area every fall. At mealtime we were introduced to items such as “the warrior plate” and lamb kabobs with dill pickles. Mealtime is a bit of a challenge if you don’t eat much meat. Mongolia is so high and cold that not much of anything grows there. We did have bananas from China and apples from Turkey but these were a treat, meat is what’s for dinner here
while conquering the world.unless a pickle and canned pea pizza is what you crave. Our ever so helpful host and surgeon Dr “Erika” Erdenetsetseg Gotov helped us with our selections. She offered constant help and companionship throughout the trip, providing guidance and translation on a superhuman scale. The locals seemed no worse for the lack of fruits and vegetables-, they are quite tall, strong, and attractive. They must have picked up some great genes

The next day it was off to the hospital for the mad rush of clinic, sorting through our boxes of supplies in anticipation of nothing lost or broken, hoping everything works, hoping our equipment interfaces with theirs. Our 6-member team consisted of Catherine DeVries MD, Mike Packer MD, Janet Callison.

RN, David Tanner MD, Jim Viney MD, and Kathy Borshanian RN. This was IVU’s first trip to Mongolia and was sponsored by the Swanson foundation. The

Theatre empty 2

Foundation provided us with funding, technical expertise, mounds of equipment and interesting forays to their huge local warehouse in search of that elusive catheter that was just the right size.

The hospital was a large maternal and infant complex built by the Soviets with long dark passageways and stairwells. Looking out the window you could see houses and gers all mixed together and not a tree or plant in site. We decided to put two tables in one OR to facilitate teaching and translation.  Due to the Soviet influence, very few people speak any English and our highly valued translator, Adea, was pushed and pulled in so many directions his head stared to spin. He won the popularity contest hands down. The recovery room was just outside the OR and was a new addition to the hospital. I had the pleasure of putting this together from scratch, which is the norm for these types of trips.

Luckily for me, I had done this in other countries and knew what to expect – most of the time. Recovery rooms are not usually part of the system in the hospitals of most developing countries. Once the surgery is over usually it is, “you’re on your own mate.” You are shipped off to the wards and the staff do the best they can. But with 30 to 50 patients for one nurse, the post-operative care is often left up to the families. In Mongolia they were very keen on keeping the recovery room that we set up as part of the hospital, but with the extreme lack of equipment and staff it may be

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some time before it takes shape.

I was able to give a lecture on recovery techniques and airway management. Using my translator as a guinea pig, I demonstrated techniques of bag and mask resuscitation, oral airways, suctioning techniques, nasal trumpets, foreign body removal, fluid resuscitation, etc. They all found it

entertaining to watch as I performed various techniques on my poor victim who had no medical background but was such an eager patient. The lecture was often interrupted by someone yanking my victim back into the OR for translation, but we persevered and I later learned it was the first guest lecture the nurses had ever had. They have virtually no continuing education and I was not able to ascertain what the extent of their nursing education was.

I realized more than ever that education needs to be done at all levels on these trips.  On the other hand, I learned so much from the local staff I worked with. I learned to improvise, to work with so much less than I think I need, to do more than I think I can, and to smile about all of the things I am able to make happen. I learned to exchange information without words, to find out about cultural similarities and differences, and value them both. I learned to adapt my eating habits. I learned to trust and hope. I have seen the smiles on the faces of the families as they see me walk through those doors each day. Then I know why this is all worthwhile.

Kathy Borshanian is an RN at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City. She has worked in the pediatric ICU for over eleven years. This was her first trip with IVU.

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Catalyst 100

Catalyst Magazine of Utah has announced the “Catalyst 100” – the top 100 individuals who have made an impact on Utah’s community. Nominated by fellow Utahns, Catherine deVries, MD, Founder and President of IVUmed was awarded on the list.

To read more and see her feature, please go here:

Catalyst Magazine, Catalyst 100


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IVUmed is committed to making quality urological care available to people worldwide.