Dominican Republic: Day Two

Source: Blog Post

Our “hotel” is actually a medical spa affiliated with the hospital where we will be working. It offers weight loss programs, diabetic education, etc. The rooms are spartan, but clean, and the beds are comfortable. We all slept well. Breakfast is held in the cafeteria, local oatmeal, fresh fruit, and the pineapple is super sweet and delicious. Then we head over to the hospital five minutes away.

We are greeted by Dr. Santana and begin clinic. The OR team is not allowed in the OR yet because there are surgeries underway. We feel a little resistance.

Meanwhile, Dr. Santana has been on the radio announcing our arrival and participation at the hospital offering our care for hand and upper extremity problems. 15 patients are already scheduled to be evaluated, but by the end of the morning, we see even more. Fortunately, Dr. Santana and I have already consulted by “WhatsApp“ about most of the cases. Pathology ranges from a few straightforward ganglions and carpal tunnel syndrome to Dupuytrens contracture, followed by multiple fracture malunions due to lack of treatment, and flexor tendon/nerve lacerations after machete injuries. We select 12 for surgery over the next 3 to 4 days. More will surely follow. We will start with the easy soft tissue cases tomorrow, the more challenging nerves and tendons the next day, and the fracture malunions the day after, assuming we have access to a power drill....

Then, lunch is hosted by the hospital administration in the cafeteria. The local food is quite good. Served buffet style.

After lunch, we finally get into the operating room to organize our supplies. Once we have identified the back room with the table to lay everything out for the week, we leave the hospital and go to dinner. Dinner at a local restaurant is also very good. Ordering in a foreign language course is challenging. And finally, we go back to our hotel, quite tired and go straight to bed.