PERU: DAY SIX

Source: Blog Post

Day 6 - It's hard to believe we passed the half way mark already. The team here has found its stride. The paperwork is done before each case, transport navigates the narrow hallways, we ebb and flow with the Peruvian staff - the surgeons are calm and the day is kinetic.

But the real stars today are the students from Lima. These include the medical students, residents, attendings, and other staff who willingly come observe our cases. Language is certainly a barrier - how do you say arthrogryposis in Spanish? - but the lessons flow freely. One resident scrubs in on a syndactyly, remarking at our antecubital skin graft. A fantastic orthopedic surgeon describes her experience with insurance in Lima. We compare techniques and materials and even scrubs. 

Among these are Clara and Mayte, two third year medical students. They do not usually come to this hospital but ventured 45 minutes out (might I mention scheduling this in between classes) to meet us. I asked Clara what the public opinion of mission trips is.  "A lot of patients here can't afford surgery. Sometimes doctors think we are invading their space but really it is nice for us to meet with other people from different places. We can learn so many new things!" What did you learn today? "We learned plastic surgery isn't that bad!” We share a laugh and then a chicha morada. It’s been such a wonderful meeting of two cultures.