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Commentary |

Multistaged Reconstructive Efforts Via Medical Missions Keys to Optimizing Outcome

Tessa A. Hadlock, MD; Paul Sabini, MD; Vito Quatela, MD; Mack L. Cheney, MD
Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2008;10(5):350-352. doi:10.1001/archfaci.10.5.350.
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Serving in medical missions has become commonplace for internists, infectious disease specialists, and surgeons alike, but it has become especially popular among general and facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons. The mission service fulfills the surgeons' desire to perform humanitarian work and simultaneously permits them to perform many of a single type of case in a longitudinal series. While overall, recipient countries tend to express gratitude for such services, resentment from the local medical community can also be an issue. This resentment stems from the contrast between locally available resources and those provided by global missions. There can be the perception that these missions are used as training grounds for inexperienced surgeons and that many of the patient groups receive inadequate follow-up in the early postoperative period.

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Graphic depiction of the number of patients evaluated and number of patients operated on by year. Note the steady increase in both categories over time.

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