IVUmed Traveling Resident Scholar Report

Thomas Will Fuller, MD

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Dakar Senegal – April 19-28, 2016

Mentor: Francis Schneck, MD

Sponsored by:  Northeastern Section of the AUA


The generous support of the Northeastern Section of the AUA made possible Dr. Thomas Fuller’s recent IVUmed Traveling Resident Scholar experience in Dakar Senegal.  During the pediatric urology workshop there, Dr. Fuller helped serve over 50 children.  IVUmed is grateful to Dr. Francis Schneck from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for acting as Dr. Fuller’s mentor.IMG_0295

Dr. Fuller reported, “The urologists in Dakar, Senegal face and overcome daily challenges in training and limited medical and financial resources.  It was a privilege to see IVUmed’s mission at work in an established relationship.  Dakar has had strong relationship with IVUmed and the mission of sustainable improvement is obvious.  Their newly appointed surgeon focusing on pediatric urology was eager to relate cases now being done independently during the year that had previously been deferred.  Throughout the trip their surgeons were able to expand their expertise and reinforce past lessons in a high volume surgical week.

“We witnessed the ramifications of potentially preventable complications and advanced pathology caused by limited access to care, lack of advanced imaging, and scarce specialized operative equipment.  Intervening in these situations was especially rewarding. An infant with a traumatic injury almost unheard of in the US was in clinic with a suprapubic tube and without intervention would never void again.  He was repaired and now has a future free of an invasive drain and associated complications.  A young girl presented to our clinic that had been continuously incontinent her entire life leading to social isolation.  A unique congenital malformation of her urinary tract was identified and repaired.  The next morning she was dry for the first time and hopefully she will remain so for the rest of her life.  The gratitude of the parents was obvious though we did not share a language.

“It was a privilege to be involved in a small step in sustainable improvement, meet the people of Senegal and see their country, have a hand in helping situations that were thought potentially helpless, and better understand the challenges of treating patients in the developing world.  It reinforces a desire to continue this sort of work throughout my career.”