Funding from the Southeastern Section of the American Urological Association enabled Dr. Blair Townsend to serve as an IVUmed Resident Scholar in Harare, Zimbabwe under the mentorship of Dr. Kurt McCammon.

Dr. Townsend shares his experience:

“I was privileged enough to have the opportunity through SESAUA and IVUmed to travel to Harare, Zimbabwe with Dr. Kurt McCammon to teach, train, and educate Urology residents at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences from September 2nd-6th, 2019. The residents prepared several urologic surgeries per day, mostly related to urethral reconstruction after traumatic injuries. The residents had arranged imaging for us to review, presented the indications for surgery, introduced us to the patients pre-operatively, and assigned resident coverage for the cases. Simply put, the Zimbabwean residents were impressively prepared for our arrival.

“We stayed in a house on the immediate outskirts of Harare. This was a safe neighborhood with a favorite restaurant within walking distance. Western luxuries were immediately forgotten as we had planned power outages from ~5:30AM-~10:30PM every day. A volunteer from the Urology Department picked us up every morning (either an attending or resident) and brought us to Parirenytawa General Hospital. We normally began our morning with a presentation of some sort. Dr. McCammon gave a lecture on “Decision-Making in Male and Female Urethral Reconstruction,” we listened to a multi-disciplinary pathology case discussions and also were involved in resident-led interesting case reports.

“On average, we performed ~3 surgeries per day. Dr. McCammon expertly led two Zimbabwean residents (“registrars” as they call themselves) through each case. I scrubbed in on three cases and truly enjoyed the opportunity to operate with residents with very different training and styles. Our primary goal, obviously led by Dr. McCammon, was to equip the residents with surgical skills and decision-making capabilities (largely related to reconstructive urology) that would last them a lifetime. I believe we accomplished that.

“We repaired several posterior urethral injuries, secondary to unique injuries like crocodile bites, utilizing techniques such as excision and primary anastomosis, and buccal grafts. We fixed an adult hypospadias with a buccal graft and performed a Monti procedure on a 12-year-old boy with a severe pelvic fracture with prior failed surgeries. This was just a taste of the valuable complexity we were confronted with.

“We concluded our time in Harare with a beautiful outing with the Program Chairman, two attendings and several of the residents. We shared stories from the week and gave aspirations for the future. I believe we solidified a very strong working relationship going forward. I am in close contact with many of the Zimbabwean residents currently and trust these friendships will remain long into the future.”