IVUmed sponsored, through its alumni fund, Dr. Nnenaya Agochukwu’s recent Traveling Resident Scholar experience in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia with Dr. Jeremy Myers of the University of Utah acting as her mentor.

Dr. Agochukwu reported, “Upon embarking on this journey, I did not know what to expect.  From the initial application, I was filled with excitement.  RS_Mongolia 2015_Agochuwu2When I received news of my acceptance to the IVUmed resident scholars program, my excitement sky-rocketed.  Our first case was a redo urethroplasty.  I had only seen a few urethroplasties thus far in my training, so the opportunity to see a redo urethroplasty was quite exciting.  The operating room was clean, and well suited for the operation.  Our translator, Ogi, was key in everything we did.

Dr. Myers, Dr. Erka and I scrubbed for the case.  At the beginning of the case, Dr. Myers, the leader for our team, began by asking Dr. Erka if I could start the case.  Without hesitation, Dr. Erka agreed.  I thought that was incredible, the willingness to allow me, someone who Dr. Erka just met that morning and whom Dr. Myers just met the day before, begin such a critical operation.  I was excited, and in disbelief.  As we carried through the case, Dr. Erka and Dr. Myers worked together, with Dr. Myers leading the case and taking time to teach Dr. Erka key skills and techniques.  This was a live example of teach one, reach many as there were several other young urologist there watching and learning as well.

The second week, was fascinating.  Dr. Erka and I were now alone to do several of the cases that were on the schedule, those were similar to the cases from the first week.  I had a very unique opportunity in the sense that I could first hand witness the IVUmed mission statement.  As Dr. Erka and I worked together, I could see the surgical techniqueRS_Mongolia 2015_Agochukwu1 s and intraoperative decision making, that Dr. Myers had taught the previous week in action.  It was amazing.  I could see right then and there, firsthand that the investment Dr. Myers and the IVU med team had made was in banking terms, returned 100 fold.

I knew it would be a good experience, but what I did not know and what I was not prepared for was that it was an amazing, life changing experience.  The key that IVU med  and particularly my mentor, Dr. Myers, has opened my eyes to is that it is even more crucial to leave something behind, to allow for growth far beyond one’s departure.  The Mongolian urologists spoke endlessly about the impact of IVUmed on their practice in Mongolia.  To me, life is about giving back, that’s what brought me into medicine and I am glad that IVUmed has shown me the facilities to give back.  For that, I am truly grateful to IVUmed.”