Surgical relief work in Haiti: A practical resident learning experience

Igor Belyansky, Kristopher B. Williams, Mojtaba Gashti, Richard F. Heitmiller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction: A once-a-year, week-long surgical missionary trip to Haiti has become incorporated into our residency experience on a voluntary basis since 2007. The purpose of this article is to describe our experience with this mission effort during the last 4 years. Methods: Since 2007, at least one PGY 35 surgical resident from our program has traveled to the Hpital Sacr Coeur in Milot, Haiti for a voluntary, week-long surgical mission working with the local health care providers. Their personal and clinical experiences in Haiti, in the surgical clinics, and in the operating room, were recorded. Results: Since 2007, 6 surgical residents and members of the surgical staff have traveled to Haiti for this surgical mission. During that time, a total of 247 patients were observed in the clinic and 184 surgical cases were performed. The case distribution covered a wide range of defined categories, including head and neck, breast, hernia, abdominal, biliary, stomach, small and large bowel, colorectal, skin and soft tissue, and urology. The personal aspect of this experience could not be quantitated but was profound. Conclusions: We feel that the surgical missionary trip to Haiti is an asset to our program. It provides humanitarian surgical care to patients in need, teaching and infrastructure support to the local health care providers, a clinical and operative experience to our residents, and an invaluable personal experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-217
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2011


  • Haiti
  • surgical mission relief

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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