Gynecologic Short Term Medical Missions: Enhancing Resident Surgical Experience [17B]

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Many residency programs desire a wider breadth of surgical experience for house staff during clinical training. Gynecologic short term medical missions (STMM) can afford residents the opportunity to perform complex laparotomy, hysterectomy, and pelvic relaxation procedures. This poster outlines a residency teaching facility's medical mission experience in Bolivia.


Women's health care needs in Bolivia were identified via Medical Ministries International (MMI). Coordination required close communication among ST Francis, MMI, and local staff at hospitals in San Carlos and Yacapani, Bolivia. Trip dates were established and notification to local health care providers and patients were coordinated by MMI and the respective hospital physicians. ST Francis mission members prepared for the goal of performing forty surgeries.


Three and a half surgical days provided eight abdominal and two vaginal hysterectomies, five anterior/posterior repairs, three perineorrhaphies, two tubal ligations, four ovarian cystectomies, one Bartholin’s gland marsupialization and twelve laparotomies performed by two residents under the direction of two attending surgeons. This surgical experience afforded each team member the opportunity to improve their knowledge base of female genitourinary anatomy, cultivate their surgical skills, engage in altruistic endeavors, and participate in a life changing experience that demonstrated the limited heath care resources of developing nations.


Gynecologic STMM address the growing need for open and vaginal surgery cases for resident training. Residents engaging in medical missions improve their case logs, and address global health needs potentiating the commitment to service in our profession. Medical missions should be considered as a beneficial adjunct to traditional resident education.

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