“Traveling to Hue, Vietnam with IVUmed was an amazing opportunity, and I am grateful for being invited to participate on this trip to experience a different culture and practice of urology in a different part of the world.

“On the first day, I arrived very exhausted from 24 hours of traveling yet overcome with excitement to begin the week’s journey. The staff picked me up from the airport and drove me to my hotel. As we drove into town, beautiful scenery as well as the countless number of motorcycles speeding along the streets amazed me. At the hotel, I met with the rest of the IVUmed team – Dr. Colberg, Dr. Sonmez, and Tania Hossin (NP). Dr. Hung, one of the local urologists in Hue, picked us up and we went to Hue Central Hospital to meet and discuss some of our patients for the week.

“We gathered in a small conference room along with a few urologists and urology residents from Hue to review the patients for the week. We met each of the patients individually in the conference room while we reviewed their medical records and discussed our surgical plans. The urologists and residents were very friendly and welcoming to the IVUmed team. They asked for our suggestions and input on each of the cases.

“We had very interesting surgeries throughout the week including partial cystectomy for urachal mass, partial penectomy for penile cancer, radical orchiectomy for testicular mass, radical nephrectomy for renal mass, laparoscopic varicocelectomy, laparoscopic seminal vesicle mass excision, and multiple stone procedures including open pyelolithotomy as well as ureteroscopy. As a resident, I was grateful to participate in their surgeries and learn from the staff. I was very excited to perform my first open pyelolithotomy with Dr. Hung, as this case is not commonly done in the United States. I was very impressed with the resourcefulness and technical skills in the operating room. The urologists in Hue were very meticulous with their dissections maintaining very minimal blood loss and working through very small incisions.

“Most of the urologists in Hue spoke English, but majority of the patient’s did not. We depended on our Vietnamese colleagues to help us translate and communicate with the patients. Despite the language barrier, all of the patients, staff, and students we interacted with were very friendly and welcoming to us.

“We spent a significant amount of time working with the medical students in the OR as well as in the classroom. We had daily class discussions pertaining to urology as well as medical training in general. On the last day of our trip, Dr. Sonmez gave a great lecture on renal cell cancer for the medical school and staff.

“Immersing myself in a different culture and way of life in Hue, Vietnam was an amazing experience. I appreciated the opportunity to see how urology is practiced in a different country, and to exchange both ideas and surgical techniques. Finally, I enjoyed the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people with a common interest in urology and global health.”