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Mission Trip a ‘Humbling Experience’ For Dr. Kadakia

Sameep Kadakia, MD, fellowship-trained head and neck oncology/facial plastic reconstructive surgeon with Premier ENT Associates, recently donated his time and talent in Rakai, Uganda, on a medical mission trip with Operation International. He and a colleague worked 12-hour days seeing patients with neck masses at least six to 10 cm in size. “Not only do these masses make breathing and swallowing difficult, they also are very visible and change a person’s appearance significantly,” says Dr. Kadakia. The two surgeons were able to remove neck masses from 40 patients during their week-long visit.

Many of the patients came from very poor areas that lack access to health care. “It was common to see patients who travelled 10 to 12 hours on foot, bike, cart, or bus to get to us,” he says.

Working with rudimentary instruments in a hospital where the electricity is not always reliable and the water is often cold was a humbling experience, says Dr. Kadakia. “It reminded me of the reason I chose the field of medicine, to take care of other human beings.”

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