This week I was fortunate to be joined in Cap-Haitien by one of our outstanding third year residents, Ayan Chatterjee. Dr. Chatterjee was able to bring a number of surgical supplies with him provided by SEE International which enable the clinic to keep providing affordable care to those in greatest need. Ayan joined us as part of the WIRE program (Wills International Resident Experience) which gives residents the opportunity to take part in global initiatives in partnership with CAGO. We spent the week seeing patients in clinic alongside our Haitian and Cuban counterparts intermixed with time in the OR. One of the goals of this particular WIRE site is to allow residents to learn a new procedure: MSICS (Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery). The procedure is a variation on standard extracapsular cataract surgery and is performed throughout the developing world due to it’s simplicity, safety, and significant affordability in comparison to phacoemulsification cataract surgery. It was a pleasure to make the shift from student to educator and work with Ayan on a number of cases over the course of the week.
A quick word on my own experiences with the WIRE program – I was fortunate enough to spend two weeks as a third year resident with Dr. Ben Roberts in Tenwek, Kenya. The Tenwek Mission Hospital has been a primary care providing institution in the region for several decades and it is thanks to Dr. Roberts that the ophthalmology department has become such a vibrant source of education for Nairobi resident and international students. Working with Dr. Roberts was incredibly influential in my development as a surgeon and as global health professional for which I am exceptionally grateful.