Here is a terrific story about a Baltimore surgeon getting out of the comfort of his office and applying time and talent to populations that would not otherwise have access to his skills. In this case, he encountered a 12-year-old boy in Haiti who had a massive tumor that required immediate surgery. This surgeon, Dr. Mojtaba Gashti, recognized the severity of the issue and rallied the resources and diplomatic process to get the boy into his operating room in Baltimore. Here’s a quote from the article that best wraps up the theme:
“The doctor looked into the boy’s big brown eyes and saw his own young son, an American teenager who wanted for nothing. His heartstrings tugged, his head spinning with thoughts of how best to help, Gashti decided he had to bring Osly to the United States and make him well.”
What also strikes me is that this physician would have had no way of knowing this boy had this need had he not taken the time to go to Haiti and look. The open question then is in what ways could more prospective patients be identified, and more effectively paired with the medical care that they require? How would a doctor such as Dr. Gashti quickly get patients like this out of countries and into the United States to get treatment. Does the infrastructure and communication pathway exist for such quick action, or did Dr. Gashti have to figure it all out on his own?
Food for thought if you’re a talented program manager, data mining specialist, or public relations professional. Obviously, for a physician this is a great opportunity for extended service as well.