A practical guide for short-term pediatric surgery global volunteers.
INTRODUCTION: The tremendous need for increasing the quantity and quality of global pediatric surgical care in underserved areas has been well documented. Concomitantly there has been a significant increase in interest by pediatric surgeons in helping to relieve this problem through surgical volunteerism. The intent of the article is to serve as a practical guide for pediatric surgeons contemplating or planning a short-term global volunteer endeavor. METHODS: The article is based on the authors' personal experiences and on the published experiences of other volunteers. FINDINGS: The following aspects of volunteerism are discussed: ethical considerations, where and how to go, what and whom to take with you, what to expect in your volunteer locale, and what to do and what to avoid in order to enhance the volunteer experience. CONCLUSIONS: The points discussed in this guide will hopefully make the volunteer activity one that results in greatly improved immediate and long term surgical care for children and improves the chances that the activity will be a meaningful, pleasant, and productive experience for both the volunteer and the host physician.
Meier, DE; Fitzgerald, TN; Axt, JR
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