Children's Hospital Colorado

Medical Missions in Pediatric Medicine (S3:E30)

Medical mission trips offer opportunities for pediatricians, surgeons and other healthcare professionals to provide medical and surgical care to residents of communities where healthcare services are limited. Visiting healthcare professionals can also provide specialized healthcare education to local medical professionals who provide healthcare in the community. There are many medical mission opportunities for healthcare providers, but they require clinical experience, research, planning, and most of all, flexibility.

Listen to a pediatric expert discuss medical missions in pediatric medicine

In this episode, we dive into the topic of medical missions, specifically surgical and perioperative care in resource-limited settings, with Brian Shaw, MD.

Dr. Shaw is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon from Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs, Chief of the Section of Pediatric Surgery at Memorial Hospital for Children in Colorado Springs, Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Vice-Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Orthopedics.

This episode was recorded live at the 2019 AAP National Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, LA.

In this episode, our experts discuss:

  • How Dr. Shaw became involved in medical missions
  • Specific conditions that Dr. Shaw sees in Guatemala as part of the program he developed there
  • Different types of medical mission opportunities
  • The hybrid model in Guatemala: doctors from North America and Europe provide surgical services and teach local surgical residents
  • Follow-up visits for surgeries that are performed in Guatemala
  • Existing and future use of telehealth for follow-up visits
  • Pre-trip planning for appropriate delivery of care
  • Flexibility, the primary skill you need in order to participate in medical missions
  • The importance of understanding the culture and climate of the countries that doctors will be visiting
  • Experiences Dr. Shaw had with suboptimal tools and environments in other countries
  • How most people who are involved in medical mission trips finance their trips