Taylor Ottesen and Riana Patel public
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Children are one of the world’s protected populations. Indeed, they are the very make up of our future as a race. They bring new life, ideas, and opportunities we can only dream of. Unfortunately, not all children around the world have equal opportunities to contribute to this future. In 2019 alone, more than 5 million children under 5 years died f…
 
Findings from studies published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) report that more than 45% of resident physicians experience burnout and the numbers are continuing to climb. If that number didn’t surprise you, then you are well aware of the psychological stress and struggles that doctors and other healthcare workers experie…
 
Undergoing surgery is an extremely multifaceted process that includes physical, mental, and social aspects to make it successful. Often when we talk about surgery, we focus on the physical and neglect these other important parts. This is where social work can bring all the pieces together to include the biopsychosocial approach to surgical care - a…
 
Humans are inherently social creatures. For centuries we’ve learnt to survive, adapt and overcome through collaboration and unity. Medicine, in particular, highlights the value of taking input from multiple specialities and healthcare professionals to optimise patient care. However, with the power of modern technology, does this collaboration need …
 
Healing takes time. To heal means to regenerate, to align and to gain strength. Wound healing, in particular, highlights the power of the human body in times of crisis – manipulating its resources and cells to restore homeostasis. But what happens when that fails? What happens if it’s a traumatic wound that gets infected, fails debridement? In high…
 
Checklists have been instituted in many sectors to help streamline processes. They are there to make things easier and bring peace of mind by eliminating forgotten aspects of a procedures. Surgery is no different. The surgical checklist is vital to the delivery of safe surgery around the world, however, checklist implementation involves changing mi…
 
Medical textbooks are a staple for education for medical trainees worldwide. These textbooks teach through words but they also teach through picture portrayals of conditions students will see in the future. Topics include basic anatomy, skin conditions, injury patterns, and even necessary medical equipment. Unfortunately, many of these textbooks ar…
 
Vaccination efforts around the world have been extremely successful - saving millions. They have been particularly helpful in pediatric populations. While vaccinations for children are important, if they are not followed by adequate access to surgical care, many of these children will still die premature. Currently part of the bottleneck of decreas…
 
“Climate change is the single greatest threat to planetary and human health of our time. It is not a distant future concern, but a process that is occurring here and now.” - Roa L, Velin L, et al. Climate change is a huge idea. It stems from the accumulation of greenhouse gases due to human consumptive practices that results in environmental change…
 
Performing surgery requires many different parties. Each needs to come to the operating room prepared to excel in their field but also work collaboratively with the other parties. Unfortunately, the field of surgery has the potential to be surgeon-centric and important collaborators like anesthesia fail to be discussed. In this episode, we seek to …
 
Health systems are sick. Around the world gaining access to necessary surgical treatment can be difficult due to inadequate healthcare infrastructures but also due to imbalanced care across demographics. Women across the globe often struggle to gain equal access to healthcare and maternity services - and not just access, but high quality care. The …
 
The power of students can be immense. In a team, each person brings something to the table and has different strengths to offer. Students offer the benefit of time, passion, and drive. Mentors offer the benefits of experience, teaching, and context. The combination of student and mentor can bring both to new heights. In the world of global surgery,…
 
Trauma injury kills more people every year than HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis (TB) combined. Despite this, it often takes a backseat when receiving research support, clinical funding, and policy change. Trauma disproportionally affects low- and middle-income countries with its far reaching effects beyond the walls of the hospital. In fact, in som…
 
The term “global surgery” is extremely broad and elusive. “Academic global surgery” even more so. It can be hard to feel like one is making a difference, particularly when there are so many injustices all around us. However, global surgery is everywhere! It is anywhere that there is health inequity. Join us in this inspirational episode as we talk …
 
Lean methodology is a core principle that focuses on minimizing waste in order to maximize value. In other words, when an organization is lean, they have created the most value possible for both the producer which can then be passed onto the consumer. In order to do this, there needs to be a shift from optimizing individual processes to optimizing …
 
Colonialism has affected almost every major indigenous population around the globe. Some civilizations have been affected by settler colonialism with large-scale immigration of foreign individuals to overtake land and property that did not belong to them. Other civilizations have experienced more exploitative colonialism where natural resources and…
 
Home to 25 million people, North Korea is a world of its own. Insights into the country’s healthcare system are scarce at best, let alone surgical care. This is not the case, however, for Dr Kee Park, a neurosurgeon working with Harvard’s Program in Global Surgery and Social Change and the World Health Organization to support local surgeons in thei…
 
In a matter of seconds, your world can change. When a 7.0 magnitude earthquake ripped through Haiti in 2010, no one was prepared for the aftermath that would occur. Over a quarter-million people dead, and with 52 aftershocks, the country continued to be hit over and over. As the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere at the time, the country’s i…
 
hu·man·i·tar·i·an: (h)yo͞oˌmanəˈterēən/ = concerned with or seeking to promote human welfare. We often put humanitarian aid as an ideal – but what does it truly mean to be a humanitarian? Is it volunteering one’s time or financial resources to another? Is it only during times of crisis or disaster, or is it at any time? What are the ethics behind t…
 
There are many ways to make a difference in people’s lives. Some people do that through medicine. Others through technology. And even others through public health. For our speaker this week, he started as a clinician and has transitioned to a public health specialist. Global surgery requires an army - people from every discipline to come together t…
 
Delivering care in rural areas is one of the hardest challenges of global surgery. Access to necessary medications is difficult and limited, but access to surgery is even harder, forcing many to travel hours on muddy roads through public transport to seek care. Even still, these are the lucky ones. Many never even make it out. Today about 15% of pe…
 
Laparoscopy is a major breakthrough in surgery. By using gas to inflate the abdomen, surgeons are able to drastically increase their visibility and thus can work through very small incisions to do major abdominal surgeries. The benefits are numerous including smaller scars, quicker recovery, and shorter time to return to work (which decreases lost …
 
Imagine you are sitting in a medical tent in a combat zone. You are the military surgeon and a solder is brought to you with injuries from a bomb blast that you have no idea how to treat. This wasn’t in your training. You have no idea what to do. How do you save this soldier’s limb - or even more importantly - this soldier’s life? Now imagine you a…
 
You are sitting at your desk with a paper and pencil. You draw a rectangle on the paper and start looking at it from different angles. It represents the layout of an operating room. You draw a larger box around the inner one. This represents the whole perioperative area. What do you put inside these boxes? How many water stations do you need? Hand …
 
As a country, creating a national long-term strategy to address barriers in your health system is a daunting task. Where do you start? What do you do if you fail? And how to you ensure long-term longevity. It is your responsibility to bring together key stake holders with different backgrounds including: health economics, surgery, business, advocac…
 
In many regions of the world, clean water, electricity, medical facilities, and medical personnel are limited or nonexistent. Healthcare infrastructure is lacking and access to needed supplies can be highly variable. But what if you could have a state-of-the-art hospital and a whole crew of medical professionals delivered directly to the areas that…
 
250 degrees Fahrenheit. 121 degrees Celsius. This is the temperature at which surgical equipment is sterilized. Pressured steam envelops each and every instrument cleansing them of impurities and killing microbes. This whole process is vital to the practice of safe surgery and is done in the confines of an autoclave. In order to create these temper…
 
Every day 830 women die from pregnancy or childbirth related causes - that is over 330,000 per year. That is 830 mothers. 830 sisters. 830 wives. Lives lost, and families shattered. Sometimes these deaths come as a result of surgical complications, other times due to unsanitary conditions or infection, and still more due to severe bleeding that cou…
 
Hundreds of millions of shipping containers are transported around the world annually. Some of them are filled with cars, toys, or cosmetics. Others are filled with perishable food items or electronics. As the world shut down in the wake of COVID-19, we all saw what happens when supply chains are disrupted. Supermarket shelves full of toilet paper …
 
Diversity is the key to innovation and new solutions. Global surgery is a field that needs people from any and all backgrounds to tackle this issue. So how did a PhD researcher in immunology at Yale become a major force for good in global surgery? What does role does value-based healthcare have when working in low-resource settings where healthcare…
 
Approximately half of the world is female… yet they are often invisible. In fact, only 12% of neurosurgery residents in the United States are female. Although, great strides have been made for women’s rights we still have a long way to go – particularly in global surgery where the conversation is largely absent. A conversation, that our guest today…
 
110 million people. This is twice the number of the entire population of the United Kingdom, 10 times the population of Greece, and more than 1,000 times the population of Tonga – and that is just one state in India. Welcome to Bihar and the amazing team at CARE India that works here. Join us as we investigate health systems strengthening through t…
 
Being able to make a difference in global surgery as a trainee can seem difficult. Even unachievable. “What skills do I have to offer?” “Do I have a voice in global surgery – and if so, how can I make it heard?” These questions can be hard to answer but that didn’t stop our two guests on this episode. If you are a global surgery trainee, you will d…
 
Practicing surgery is difficult in normal conditions. Even more challenging in resource-constrained situations. But what about when you are actively being targeted by your own government? You have several aliases and multiple SIM cards, but your not a spy, you are just trying to provide medical care to those in your war-torn city. Filling tires wit…
 
“Sent.” “Delivered.” 65 billion messages are sent on WhatsApp every day. That is 29 million messages every minute. Perhaps one of the most used social media platforms around the world, Gerald Mwapasa and his team at SURGAfrica are using WhatsApp to create a network of surgical advice across Southern Malawi. They are using the app to connect non-phy…
 
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to practice surgery during a mass-casualty event such as the Boston Marathon bombings? Or what about in a combat area? Join us as we talk about Kurdish controlled Iraq, medical education, disaster management, and even workforce management in some of the most well-known organizations in the world includin…
 
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