One last blog and veggie burrito before i go! Word on the street is it is nothin' but mutton for the next 16 days . . . I brought lots of granola bars and oatmeal just in case.
My wise friend Kerri Reynolds recommended that I let everyone know how this adventure to Mongolia came to be. I like to tell the people at the hospital that my senior partner has had enough of my shenanigans and so he is sending me to Outer Mongolia. There is some truth to that :)
When I started the new year of my contract in Denver, I was fairly vocal about the fact that i wanted to use my vacation time to do service work. For my partners, that means longer stretches of every third night call and a willingness to allow me to be gone, far away, for weeks at a time. So to Steve, Saundra and Kristin - Thank You!!
Knowing that I was interested, Steve forwarded an email from The Swanson Family Foundation (http://www.swanfound.org/) They were looking for a surgeon to go to Mongolia in September (this is the part where he sends me to outer mongolia :) They had put out a post through the SAGES Global Affairs Committee (http://www.sages.org/projects/global_affairs/) and through the American College of Surgeons Operation Giving Back (http://www.operationgivingback.facs.org/). Once Steve forwarded the email, and offered to cover my call - I sent an email back to Dr. Price (the medical director of the Swanson Family Foundation) and upon receiving all of the necessary documentation proving that I am a board certified surgeon, with a medical license and a passport - it was a done deal.
Financing is all personal but run through the foundation so it is tax deductible. (About $3000 but i will give you a grand total when i get back) Even if it wasn't run through the foundation, you can deduct money spent for medical service work. The foundation arranged all of my travel and accommodations. I was responsible for bringing only one checked bag and for bringing along some scrubs and white coats. Pretty low stress for me.
So that is how i wound up here, eating a veggie burrito in the SFO international terminal, waiting to hop a plane to Beijing . . .
Check out the links above if you are looking for service opportunities! Great Resources!!