Your Best Life: Resiliency Builder: Delivering Orthopaedic Care Abroad
When considering the benefits of delivering orthopaedic care to low- and middle-income countries , we tend to focus on the benefits delivered to those international sites . In addition to those benefits, we have found through our own personal experiences that spending time abroad can improve the mental health of the delivering surgeons themselves. Each author has volunteered in developing countries including India (JDK), Nicaragua (JDK, DJD), and Haiti (JF).
Volunteering abroad to practice surgery can serve as a healthy and sustainable method for US surgeons to stave off burnout by reigniting the passion to help others and by reconnecting surgeons with their patients. Participating in international surgical trips to developing areas offers autonomy, opportunities to make larger impacts on communities, an escape from excessive administrative tasks, and a return to patient-focused practice. In this context, practicing abroad may be an underutilized approach for surgeons who want to avoid burnout.