Thursday, October 4, 2018

A Venezuelan surgical resident appeals for help

I received the following email. It has been edited for length and readability.

I assume you know is happening in my country, Venezuela. Basically a communist-socialist party has taken control of the government for 20 years now and has the citizens under the worst economic crisis of South America along with one of the most important refugee situations of the continent.

I can write 300 pages about it, but I believe I’ve said enough. As you may know, EVERYTHING has gone to bad situations in this country: public services, roads, HOSPITALS, UNIVERSITIES, food shortage, lack of water and electricity, freedom of speech, and the list goes on and on.

Due to the economic crisis, many surgeons have left the country for better salaries and a better quality of life. The consequence is our surgery program in a really bad way with lack of professors and surgeons to keep teaching the new generations of surgeons.

If we abandon the academy and our space in the hospital, the government plans to take control of it and to start a political residency program focused on communist statements and destroying what is left of a university here.

I am currently a junior resident. I am passionate about global surgery and interconnecting with people around the world to share knowledge. I wonder if there is something you can do to help our program—maybe a couple of video conferences about some topic in surgery or talking to a colleague Spanish speaker to give us some topics in surgery in any way. Doing this we can maintain academic activities and no political programs will harm us. We can justify academic activities other than our normal program and will definitely be a great upgrade.

I have learned a lot in my surgery program and don´t like to watch it going down to trash. I know we have had better times and hope in the near future when the politic situation stabilizes, we can reach our best moment again.

I would appreciate anything you can do for us.

I am sorry your program and your country are in such turmoil. I am no longer teaching residents, and my Spanish is rudimentary. I wonder if any surgeon educators or global surgeons out there would be able to help this resident maintain his program and complete his education.

If you can help him in any way email me at SkepticalScalpel at Hotmail dot com and I will give you the resident’s email address.

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