Meet Dr. Daniel Pyo, a plastic surgeon from the USA, and read about why he enjoys volunteering for Operation Smile.
Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
- I am a plastic surgeon specialized in paediatric and micro surgery from New Jersey, USA. I work at a private hospital group where we perform plastic surgery, and common conditions we treat are cleft lip or palate and other craniofacial deformities.
For how long have you been volunteering for Operation Smile?
- I have been participating in Operation Smile missions for 10 years. My first mission was to Kenya in 2007. After that, I've gone to countries in South and Central America, Africa and Asia. This will be my first time to Peru.
Why do you volunteer for medical missions?
Before 2007, I participated in missions with other organizations, but after that first trip to Kenya I've stayed with Operation Smile. It was eye-opening for me to see that following their way of doing things the missions turned out better, safer and with better outcomes. Operation Smile has a commitment to safety and strives for excellence in patient outcomes that is world-class.
Operation Smile also has extremely high standards for volunteer staff, which makes it extra interesting from a professional point of view. I love meeting with people and sharing new ideas. We always spend time collaborating on how we can achieve the best outcomes. I have changed some of my techniques that are customary here in the States after meeting people from other parts of the world, and I hope I have taught something to other people in return.
I am also impressed with how Operation Smile has a program for continuous engagement of healthcare staff through a training program for students. Actually, my 17 years old son goes on his first mission to China in June.
Did you have any specific expectations for the Peru mission?
This was my first time to Peru. I love to meet new people and see new countries. I always do some reading about the country ahead of time and really try to understand the cultural diversity. From a professional stand-point, I go with a helper's heart ready to do what is needed and to perform successful surgeries. I don't really have any worries. Problems always arise on missions, but we solve them. That's part of the mission challenge and the enjoyment of getting the team working together. I look at every mission as an opportunity to do things better. The Peru mission turned out great, just as I had anticipated.
What are your thoughts on the Biogel® glovings?
We use Biogel gloves on missions, and I use them in the States. I was hesitant intially since I look for the thinnest barrier between my fingers and the gloves. However, I got used to the double gloves quickly. All of our surgeons use the Biogel gloves.
Wonderful to hear. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!
The opinion and experience expressed in this article is the personal opinion and experience of Dr. Daniel Pyo and, thus, does not represent the official opinion or recommendation Mölnlycke Health Care.
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