AAO-HNSF Humanitarian Travel Grant Report: Los Alcarrizos, Dominican Republic
In three days, roughly 30 surgeries were performed (mostly otologic but some tonsils and adenoids).
Vivian F. Kaul, MD, Ohio State University – Fellow
Project Ear, an organization that operates a medical clinic and surgery center in western Dominican Republic, manages medical humanitarian outreach trips to Los Alcarrizos, Dominican Republic. Twice a year, an outreach team visits the Project Ear campus to educate and provide medical and surgical care to the rural community. The teams also partner with the local residencies to improve their training with seminars and provide donations of instrumentation. This partnership is not unilateral; some of the residents from the Dominican Republic also come to Columbus, Ohio, to augment their training for a time. Long-lasting, mutually positive relationships have been established through this partnership.
The team I worked with on my outreach trip consisted of two ear surgeons, three anesthesiologists, myself, two ENT residents, four anesthesia residents, and two perioperative nurses from Ohio State University. In three days, we performed roughly 30 surgeries (mostly otologic but some tonsils and adenoids).
I am grateful for the AAO-HNSF support that helped me travel to the Dominican Republic to serve patients through Project Ear. The positive impact the surgeries made on these patients lives lasts long after we've left, which is a fulfilling feeling. Moreover, the education we provide to the Dominican Republic residents affords an even larger impact given the limited otolaryngology training that is available in this Caribbean nation—less than a handful can perform ear surgery, let alone surgeries done essentially for free.
I hope to return to the Dominican Republic in the future and am so appreciative of this experience made possible by AAO-HNSF. My future outlook on patient care will forever be shaped by this trip.