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Volunteer Opportunities

A dedicated group of the UC San Diego pediatric anesthesia and regional anesthesia faculty are active in providing humanitarian support for underserved children and adults undergoing surgical procedures both around the world and in the United States. Each year, interested residents have the opportunity to participate in these humanitarian efforts with the strong support of our chairman and the faculty in general. Faculty have also provided extensive financial support to fund resident travel and housing for humanitarian endeavors. The trips we participate in vary from year to year, several examples are included below:

UC San Diego faculty have participated in international humanitarian medical trips to Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador ( Dr. Roberto Gilbert Elizalde Children's Hospital), Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines. Through PAGES (Philippine American Group of Educators and Surgeons), and Vietnam. Residents are welcome on any of these trips, which involve educating local health care providers and directly caring for children and adults requiring primarily oromaxillofacial reconstructive, cardiac or orthopedic surgery. These are busy and extremely rewarding medical experiences that provide life-changing medical care and education in underserved areas of these countries. Pediatric anesthesia faculty have also participated in humanitarian care within the United States through Samaritan's Purse and Fresh Start locally in San Diego.

Recent Trips

Anesthesia for Pediatric Reconstructive Surgery in Mexico

For over two decades, many UC San Diego residents and attendings have enjoyed the opportunity to work with Interface, a volunteer group based in San Diego and that offers reconstructive surgery to children in Mexico. Surgeries include cleft lip and palate repair, correction of hand deformities, burn reconstruction, and other congenital and acquired deformities. Trips often involve weekend dates to various Mexican cities, including Mexicali, which is a short drive southeast from San Diego. These opportunities are offered several times a year.

Anesthesia for Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Cambodia

Since 2006, a team including anesthesiologists, cardiologists and pediatric cardiac surgeons from UC San Diego, Rady Children's Hospital San Diego, and the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin have been traveling to Cambodia to perform patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) ligations at the Angkor Hospital for Children. During this and subsequent trips, the Cambodian surgical team has been trained by our team to perform PDA ligations themselves and we are now providing more complex cardiac surgery at this site including utilizing cardiopulmonary bypass and palliative surgeries for children with tetralogy of Fallot. These trips are supported by Children's Lifeline International and Hearts Without Boundaries.

General and Regional Anesthesia Education in Vietnam

UC San Diego first became involved with teaching at the Hospital for Traumatology and Orthopedics in Ho Chi Minh City when one of our CA-3 residents was awarded a funded fellowship via Health Volunteers Overseas. We are continuing our relationship with this hospital again this year with two CA-3 residents spending a month in Vietnam teaching and working. As with all other sites, UCSD faculty accompany residents to the Hospital for Traumatology and Orthopedics to assist with teaching and supervision.