From November 3-5, ReSurge, along with the Cuban Ministry of Health, sponsored a symposium on reconstructive surgery in Havana's Hospital Calixto Garcia, one of the premier hospitals in Cuba.
The symposium, a survey course, was attended by 280 surgeons from all over the country. Physicians received three CME (continuing medical education) credits for the symposium and had an enthusiastic reception to the dialog with their US peers. Other collaborators included Plasticos, ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) led by president Dr. Deb Johnson.
Dr.Guillermo Sanchez, the symposium organizer on the Cuban side states, "After you [ReSurge] left, the feedback has been excellent. Emergency doctors, esthetic surgeons, ENT specialists, cancer surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons have all approached me and congratulations has been the 'word of the day.'... To Dr. Chang...all the conference attendees are saying great things."
The ReSurge team learned reconstructive surgery in Cuba is divided into three fields: maxillo-facial, hand, and general reconstructive surgery. Cuba has one of the best ratios of doctors to patients in the world, and trains residents from countries throughout Latin America and the developing world. Cuban surgeons were eager to learn more about microsurgery, which is not widely practiced there.
Going forward, ReSurge and the Ministry of Health are building out a program of ongoing collaboration for medical and technical exchange. ReSurge expects there will be three to four exchange trips to Cuba in the next year, delivered in collaboration with local hospitals.
ReSurge would like to thank KLS-Martin, Plasticos, Amistad Cuba, and a number of individual donors for their generous sponsorship of this historic event. Dr. Bill McClure and Mario Gutierrez also deserves special thanks for their roles in organizing the symposium.