Resident  Scholar:  Temitope Rude, MD; New York University

Location/Date:  Mbale, Uganda; December 5-12, 2015

Mentor: Eric Richter, MD

Sponsored by:  The New York Section of the AUA

Extract from Dr. Temitope Rude’s Report:

“This trip would focus on teaching endoscopic techniques to treat the significant burden of disease from urethral stricture and BPH. We were also delivering new equipment purchased by the Mt. Elgon Hospital with the support of Storz Company and private contributions.RS_Uganda 2015_Rude2

I got my first sense of the depth of mutual respect and appreciation when we arrived at our hotel at 11 pm after significant traffic delays to meet many physicians from the hospital who had waited to welcome us in person. The following day, as we prepared the operating theatre for the surgical camp, I was struck by the commitment and ingenuity of our hosts. New state of the art endoscopic tools sat beside the urologic tools that Dr. Kirya had in many cases designed himself, employing local metalsmiths to fashion retractors and reliable irrigation.  The disease that we treated was quite advanced compared to what we typically see in the States.

As a surgical resident, I’m always happiest in the operating room. This was amplified many times over as the surgical team bonded throughout the week. There were the deeply rewarding moments where we were able to step back and watch Dr. Kirya perform endoscopic treatments with growing skill and confidence. And then there were the frequent times we relied upon the ingenuity and resourcefulness of our Ugandan colleagues to complete cases with our customary tools, learning a pocketful of new skills to share at home.

The friendships that we built with the nurses, anesthetists and medical trainees flourished. They started with a shared optimism and heart to serve, but grew with mutual respect and shared triumphs and good old-fashioned inside jokes.

The most transformative part of the IVUMed surgery camp for me, occurred as we rounded on our post-operative patients each night. After all the obstacles, sweat, focus and determination in the operating theatre, it was easy to fixate on what could have been different or better in the States. I would become preoccupied with these differences, hoping that we were really providing the best care for our patients.  RS_Uganda 2015_Rude1Over the week, I learned the power of humility and observation as every patient continued to improve with the focused clinical care delivered by the staff at Mt Elgon Hospital. Our hosts’ creation of a system of clinical acumen to ameliorate the limitations of supplies and finances was excellent and inspiring.  Their families stayed in the walkway outside the wards, keeping constant vigil and support, greeting us as well.  I wished there was some way to let them know the gratitude I felt for them in turn and for this life-changing experience.”