Orthopaedic Care across the Globe

4th year resident Dr. Eric Bowman, with some of the medical supplies sent to Honduras.
This past May, fourth-year resident, Eric Bowman, MD, spent 9 days in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on a medical mission to teach and deliver excellent orthopaedic care. Dr. Bowman was the third resident to participate in the Campbell residency program’s International Service Elective, made possible by a scholarship established in 2013 to sponsor medical missions nationally and internationally.

Dr. Bowman joined a 40-person team comprised of orthopaedic surgeons and medical professionals, treating adults suffering from conditions that included open fractures, machete wounds, and osteoarthritis. The trip was funded by generous contributions to the Campbell Foundation and was organized through Global Health Overseas.

“We dealt with conditions that we don’t see in the US,” Dr. Bowman says. “We saw a patient with a machete injury, who walked two hours to reach a bus station to catch a four-hour bus ride to our clinic. Our mission provided care for people who have limited access to the medical attention they need.”

The equipment at the hospital, Dr. Bowman discovered, was outdated and often broken. Figuring out the best instrument to use from what was available-and then determining how to make that instrument work in a given situation-was challenging. The week before Bowman arrived, most of the hospital elevators were not working, and patients were transported in a service elevator regularly used for garbage.

“Surgery in an environment with limited resources definitely takes creative problem solving,” Bowman says. “And patients are forced to take a hand-on approach to their care. A patient with a broken leg, for example, would visit a medical supply store across the street from the hospital and purchase the plate and screws need for their own surgery. The patient would then take the items to the hospital to be sterilized for the case.”

Dr. Bowman examines a patient with a member of the medical mission team.“Honduran patients have needs, but they aren’t needy,” Bowman says. “Medical missions certainly have a humanitarian component, but they’re just as important educationally for us. Knowledge sharing is a part of the Campbell Foundation’s mission. This experience teaches residents how to problem-solve, as well as provides us with training and insight that we bring back to the States.”

Contact Us

Department of
Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering

1211 Union Ave. Suite 520
Memphis, TN 38104

Pat Goedecke
Phone: (901) 448-5879
Fax: (901) 448-3208
Email: pgoedecke@uthsc.edu

Campbell Foundation Education Office
1211 Union Ave Suite 510
Memphis, TN 38104

Resident Program

Renee Poe
Education Coordinator
Phone: (901) 759-3275
Email: rpoe2@uthsc.edu

Fellowship Program

Rosemary Bankston
Education Coordinator
Phone: (901) 759-3274
Email: rbanksto@uthsc.edu