In May 2018, our very own Dr. Alan J. Micev went on a week long medical mission trip to Da Nang, Vietnam. Below is the podcast is entitled “Hands On Da Nang”. In the podcast, Dr. Micev interviews William Slikker III MD who is a hand & upper extremity surgeon at Kaiser Permanente in East Bay California. He organized the trip and has been on several medical mission trips in the past.
The goal of the trip was to transfer knowledge to the Vietnamese Orthopedic and Hand Surgeons as well as help treat patients suffering from complex problems. The team consisted of two hand surgeons, three residents, and a translator. On Monday, the team saw over a hundred patients of all ages with a variety of hand and upper extremity issues. Patients traveled from all over the country to be seen. The rest of the week was spent operating on patients, and the team performed 30 surgeries!
The location is Da Nang Orthopedics & Rehabilitation Hospital, which is a tertiary care center for complex orthopedic problems in the country. The team worked closely with Dr. Minh – the hand and foot specialist. He is a very talented orthopedic surgeon, but due to the significant doctor shortage in the country, he also practices general orthopedics and performs spine surgery. The hospital itself is quite large and very busy. Items that are disposable in the United States are often cleaned and re-used. No space is wasted in Da Nang. Often times, multiple patients would be having surgery simultaneously in the same operating room! Some days the operating rooms would lose power and the team operated in the dark with the help of cell phones and headlamps. Despite the challenges, the doctors in Da Nang managed to make the most of the situation and are exceptionally talented.
Hopefully the team left behind a lifetime worth of knowledge. The next trip is tentatively scheduled for January of 2019.