Dedicated to the 5 billion without safe and affordable surgery - come explore global surgery heroes in tech, law, war, business, and of course, the OR!
Ep 43: Steven Orr
In commemoration of Pride month this month, we wanted to highlight a population within society, but particularly in the field of global surgery, that is often left behind. The LGBTQ+ community has experienced high rates of discrimination and ostracization resulting in higher rates of mental illness, suicide, and even drug use. Further, LGBTQ+ patients encounter a very unique set of barriers within healthcare globally. For example, in many countries, significant others/partners of LGBTQ+ are not recognized as legal unions. This lack of legally legitimate status can pose issues when healthcare proxy decisions need to be made. Further, LGBTQ+ may have decreased number of children due to society and logistical pressures not experienced by heterosexual counterparts. This leads to a lack of access to needed elder care in regions where children and offspring predominantly handle elder care. Lastly, access to “luxury treatments” such as hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery is extremely limited around the world leaving many transgender patients without access to potentially life-saving medications and surgeries.
It is the job of clinicians to treat all patients fairly and with respect. Fair, does not necessarily mean the same, however. Recognizing how to interact with, respect, and support people of all backgrounds is essential as human beings. Putting ourselves in the shoes of other people brings new perspectives and insights. Join us in this special episode with Dr. Steven Orr as we highlight implicit bias within the surgical realm, the promotion of diversity and inclusion in surgery, and how to encourage the health and safety of all patients - regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
Ep 42: Joel Bervell
Lights, camera, ACTION! With the continued evolution of social media and technology, content creators can share their talent widely throughout the world without the need of a stage crew, make-up artist, costume designer, scriptwriter, director, etc. etc. etc.; in fact, you can do it from your very own living room with your iPhone! While it doesn’t take an army to create the content, it can be just as powerful and impactful as anything on the big screen. Many of these posts can reach tens of millions of people in a matter of hours and have the power to create movements (think the ice bucket challenge), shape culture, influence fashion, and even affect finance. All from the press of a button. Our guest today is doing just that. With more than 40,000,000+ impressions across TikTok and his other social media platforms, Joel Bervell has become an “influencer turned medical educator” who is tackling health disparities, racial bias in medicine, and global youth empowerment like no one else. Join us on one of our most interesting episodes to date as Joel shows us the man behind the screen, his views on how anyone can become a content creator for a cause, and how to challenge what we think we know. You won’t be disappointed!
Ep 41: Marci Bowers
The beautiful thing about surgery is that it has the power to change lives in ways that no other field can. Surgery is often used to correct physical deformation. Whether that is a fractured femur from a motorcycle accident, a craniotomy to relieve pressure on the brain, or an appendectomy to remove a ruptured appendix, each of these procedures helps to restore a person back to “whole”. What we don’t often talk about is when these procedures are needed to help bring a person back to whole when many places in the world do not acknowledge that this person has a deficit or even needs to be fixed. They fail to recognize the dissonance between the person’s soul and body. As one of the most vulnerable citizens in society, transgender individuals have staggering rates of harassment, discrimination, and violence. Although their fight is not seen as a medical issue by some, our guest today is helping to tackle this issue to provide safe access to gender-affirming surgery. Join us as explore these sensitive and important issues including the personal, legal, medical, and surgical process of gender affirmation surgery, female genital mutilation, and clitoral restoration surgery. This is an episode you won’t want to miss!
Ep 40: Priyanka Naidu and Zach Collier
Asking questions is at the very core of education. Surgical education specifically is a unique circumstance in which “learning” directly affects the lives of others - sometimes in very negative and real ways. Thus, tackling training of new surgeons around the world has very real consequences that can help increase access to needed care around the globe but in safe and competent ways. The goal of surgery is to be effective, safe, and have the desired outcome. Learning how to ask questions and learn essential procedural skills through accessible materials is the goal of Drs. Priyanka Naidu and Zach Collier. Join us as we talk about how they are using hackathons, self-assessments, apps, language translation, and dynamic education materials to learn and/or refresh surgical skills to be able to address the current gap in surgical knowledge and open doors to safe and affordable surgery globally.
Ep 39: George Dyer
Imagine if you arrived at your house and there were dozens of Amazon boxes at your door. None of which you had ordered. You open them only to find random items – a hairbrush, t-shirts that are way too big for anyone in your household, a toaster, and ice cream that is now all melted since you didn’t know it was there and should be refrigerated. Further, this doesn’t happen just once. It happens over and over again. Each time with a new set of items, all of which you didn’t order and may or may not even need. The items start piling up and boxes are everywhere. Despite your best efforts to keep up, stuff just accumulates and clutters your house. The items are unusable to you and impeding your access to your own space and effectively just becoming trash.
Now imagine if you got a knock at your door. It’s a random person unknown to you, claiming to be a contractor. They let themselves in and start accessing your home and telling you they need to tear down this wall, re-route a pipe, change light fixtures, etc. They may even start doing these things without consulting you first or getting your permission. They never present any type of license or ask your opinion “because they are the expert and know best”.
This is how it can feel in some global health situations. While people are trying to help, external aid can often be misdirected and create new, additional problems. The sending of supplies to resource-poor settings is often ill-informed and becomes like the Amazon analogy – trash. Incredible resources that are donated but unusable in their setting, incomplete material sets, not sorted, or frankly, not needed. The receiving institution may not be equipped to deal with the influx of these donations, and they become a burden rather than a help. This is compounded by physicians and surgeons offering their services regardless of the stated needs of the area, often leaving the local physicians to clean up the aftermath of post-operative checks, new medication management, and physical therapy needs. Join us as we talk with Dr. George Dyer, an orthopedic surgeon/professor at Harvard Medical School and orthopaedic advisor for Partners in health, about trash (disguised as donations) and the need for need-directed donations, education, and effective surgical support. You won’t want to miss this!
Ep 38: Fabio Botelho
4 hours? 7 hours? 10 hours? Look around you. Chances are you have a cell phone, tablet, or computer within reach (you are reading this after all). The number of hours an individual spends on their electronic devices each day continues to rise every year. With mobile devices reaching almost every corner of the earth, access to technology has never been easier. So how can we use this technology to do good? And how can we harness it specifically for surgery?
The term “virtual reality” is often used but it’s not something I know a lot about. Simulating an experience in which the user can interact with a created world around them is the very heart of virtual reality. This is what Dr Fabio Botelho is trying to tackle - using virtual reality to teach paediatric trauma care.
Using virtual scenarios where a clinician can talk with nurses, order tests, and work with patients, this simulated world enables just about anyone to gain knowledge and training in a real but standardized and measurable way. Surprisingly, it is actually cheaper than many other forms of training and the power to be able to disseminate the course is diverse and scalable.
Join us as we explore a range of topics including virtual reality, pediatric trauma training, and burnout in this exciting new episode!
Wow this podcast is amazing
I stumbled on this podcast today and I listened to a few episodes. This is such a great podcasts for medical students like myself!! Continue the great work.
What a great inspirational podcast relevant to today’s growing topics.