REI-Vietnam News

Between patient, scope, camera and microphone

by Cliff Fenlason |

Image: Between patient, scope, camera and microphone
Live demonstration underway in GI workshop

An REI team of three gastroenterologists was invited to conduct this major workshop for gastroenterologists from the southern region last October. About 60 attended, some of whom traveled several hours to get there! The University Medical Center (UMC) in Ho Chi Minh City was the venue. The FujiFilm company sponsored the workshop and did a fantastic job, facilitating throughout and providing a printed syllabus, excellent equipment and three corporate representatives in attendance. This involved a whole lot more ceremony and hoopla than we're used to, but was well done and very effective. But for such a local-foreign partnership, how could we hope to influence so many doctors across a wide area on a short visit?

After meeting Dr. Son, the director of UMC Hospital, and receiving his enthusiastic support we met Dr. Oanh, the director of the Endoscopy Dept., and some of the 14 surgeons and gastroenterologists in her department. UMC Hospital has 300 beds but also sees 4-5000 outpatients per day. Patients start coming about 4:30 a.m. every morning to line up and wait to see a doctor. The corridors and waiting areas are almost always jammed.

This GI team was part of a larger team led by Dr. Austin Raunikar of Greenville, SC. Dr. Larry Kim (of Denver, CO) was making his fourth REI trip to Vietnam but Dr. Bernie Powers (also of Denver) and Dr. San Yee (of Silverdale, WA) were first-timers. Dr. San’s wife, Young Yee, did a great job as our photographer. Cliff Fenlason was the REI facilitator and we were all coordinated by REI’s energetic Vietnam Representative, Mdm. Lien. This team really enjoyed each other and worked together so well!

Besides several lecture presentations, this GI endoscopy workshop included live, interactive demonstrations, performed by our GI doctors, with audio and video feed into two classrooms. The doctors were wired with microphones so could describe what they were doing during the procedures and even interact with observers in the classrooms. What a good setup for teaching!

But let me tell the rest of the story with pictures! The scenes below should give you a feel for what it was like to be there.

Other lectures were on endoscopic emergencies, endoscopic ultrasound, Barrett’s esophagus, and one on transnasal endoscopy by Dr. Minh of the UMC staff.

The GI doctors also had great experiences at three hospitals in Hanoi and two others in HCMC. You’ve just had a glimpse of one part of an encouraging and satisfying two-week trip! We’ve got new friendships and are renewing and deepening many more. An Adult Medicine Multi-Specialty team is already forming for a return trip in late September and early October of 2012.

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