getting a handle on #GlobalSurgery via video links Dec 30 2016

Everything I write is based on a simple premise: If you are a medical professional from a developed country trying out #Globalhealth or #globalsurgery for the first time, you need to know as much as possible before you go. No matter how much you study, the first time is always an eye-opener. Phone me if you have questions or need advice – especially if it’s Nepal.

My belated supplement to Goats and Soda

In April 2016, Goats and Soda did a piece on a surgeon in a challenging environment.

I thought I would look through YouTube and find some other videos that put the problem in perspective. Here they are:


The Birth of the G4 Alliance



The Right to  Heal

End Fistula

Aloha Medical Mission – from Hawaii – I know these guys. They are amazing. they are self-contained – bringing the whole team with them. This is one way to do it. Brad Wong, MD has also served in the capacity of being the only USA surgeon (with an all-Nepali team) on one of his trips to Nepal. I think this video below captures a lot of the team spirit:


My YouTube Channel

I take videos in Nepal when i am there, to show such things as how a nursing school learning lab is equipped. This is not the kind of thing destined to bring me viral fame but I did it for you. To see a playlist, go to

The TV show “ER”

There are many perspectives on offering your self to serve in a low-resource country. From the videos above, you get the idea of the need. There is a large gap between the medical care of USA and that of the developing world.

From the perspective of the person doing this, the person sitting down and making as rational a plan as possible before stepping out of their comfort zone, it’s an adventure regardless of which country you will go. And yes, the various possible options exist along a spectrum. The TV show “ER” did a sub-plot a few years back in which some of the surgeons-in-training went to a war zone in Africa.

As befits a dramatic series, the team is in over their heads, they are in a war zone, things go horribly wrong – actually this is the nightmare for the surgeons mother ( um, what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. Tell her you are practicing classical piano every day like Albert Schweitzer did).

My own book is about a USA surgeon in Nepal and is set during the Nepal civil war.  There is a separate blog ( for it.

To read the reviews go to:


Many people decide to read a book only after looking at the back cover. Here’s the one for The Sacrament of the Goddess

Please share and feel free to comment.






About Joe Niemczura, RN, MS

These blogs, and my books, and videos are written on the principle that any person embarking on something similar to what I do will gain more preparation than I first had, by reading them. I have fifteen years of USA nursing faculty background. Add to it fifteen more devoted to adult critical care. In Nepal, I started teaching critical care skills in 2011. I figure out what they need to know in a Nepali practice setting. Then I teach it in a culturally appropriate way so that the boots-on-the-ground people will use it. One theme of my work has been collective culture and how it manifests itself in anger. Because this was a problem I incorporated elements of "situational awareness" training from the beginning, in 2011.
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