Prof. Woonghan Kim(Director of JW LEE CGM) featured in NPR(National Public Radio) Goats and Soda Piece On Why Surgeons Rethinking Fly-In Medical Missions
For decades, doctors and nurses from rich countries have flown to poor countries to perform surgery and provide other medical care not readily available. They stay for a limited period of time. Then they head back home.
That model for providing care is being reconsidered, as health reporter Joanne Silberner wrote in a story we published this spring.
We wanted to hear from our readers: If you’ve been part of a fly-in mission, what was it like? What were the pros and cons?
More than 75 medical workers from NPR’s Goats and Soda audience responded to our callout.
The comments included defenders and critics of missions – and some respondents who expressed both positive and negative perspectives.
Many of our readers emphasized the invaluable work done on fly-in missions. The surgeries that he performs are literally a matter of life and death, says Woong-Han Kim, a cardiothoracic surgeon in Seoul, South Korea. Kim has performed pediatric cardiac surgeries in developing countries in Asia and Africa. “Without a timely surgery,” says Kim, children with congenital heart disease “are not likely to survive.” He is an advocate of a “team-based” approach and says he returns to countries every year “to line up the most complex and/or urgent cases and perform them together” with local medical personnel.