Dr. Michael Amirian’s IVUmed scholarship experience in Kumasi, Ghana was made possible by the general support of the Mid-Atlantic Section of the American Urological Association. During his time in Ghana, Dr. Amirian was accompanied by mentor, Carlos Angel, MD.
Regarding his experience in Ghana, Dr. Amirian reported, “I immediately felt the warmth and selflessness of the other team members upon my first meeting with them. Some, like Dr. Carlos Angel and Michael Felber RN were international mission veterans, having done many of these types of trips. Our other attending, Dr. Christi na Ching, had participated in IVUmed as a resident scholar during her urology training and could not wait to return as an attending. It was my first trip of this nature but knowing others had been in my shoes before made me much more comfortable.
While there were numerous complex cases of varying degree, one that I found particularly challenging was that of an 11-year-old girl. She was born with bladder exstrophy and had suffered her entire life with this condition. Her bladder, after years of exposure to the environment, was ulcerated, and excoriated. She was in constant pain. She was completely incontinent. Needless to say, her quality of life was abysmal. Many of the usual reconstructive options were limited as she would not have any long term accessibility to catheters. We reimplanted her ureters into her sigmoid colon, in a procedure named the modified Mainz II Pouch. It was remarkable to see her joy and big smile the next day when she looked down and no longer saw her constant source of pain.
Now that I have returned from my trip and have had a chance for introspection, I realize that I am included in the “many” of IVUmed’s mission statement, “Teach One, Reach Many”. Thank you to the IVUmed organization for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this life altering trip as well as to the Mid Atlantic Section of the AUA for sponsoring me, and to Dr. Edouard Trabulsi for his mentorship and support.”