Month: May 2014

Chair’s Comments: May 2014 – Global Outreach and International Volunteerism

Dr. Christopher R. Forrest

Dr. Christopher R. Forrest

As I was passing a colleague the other Friday and enquired what he was up to for the weekend, he casually replied he was about to hop on a plane to go to the other side of the globe on a mission.

I perfunctorily wished him safe travels and my mind wondered about the place he was headed to, thinking quite superficially “wow, what a great way to see the world” and “lucky you”. As I wandered further down the corridor, it struck me that on Monday, he would be working in a strange OR with a team he wasn’t familiar with, operating on patients he had not yet met, not to mention suffering an 8 hour jet lag and acclimatization to non-Starbucks coffee. I could relate to this feeling of displacement, having just returned from a mission to Ethiopia. By coincidence, 2 other colleagues were returning from India having completed a 2-week event with Operation Smile. It occurred to me that our division is having a profound effect on different parts of the world in a relatively short period of time. I felt a little embarrassed by my initial thoughts of envy.

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