In the mean time, life is running along as ever. On a big picture level, we are still working toward accreditation for the program. This is actually in two directions. First, we are seeking accreditation by the government.  God has guided this process so far and promising strides have been made, though we have a long way to go. There currently does not exist an established way to accredit surgical training in the country, so we are hoping to cooperate with the accrediting body and the established surgical community at the medical school to look at established accrediting practices of other countries to propose a method applicable in this country. Once this is done we can be evaluated. As you can imagine, this is a daunting task and will take some time. Please pray for us that the process would proceed smoothly and with excellence.

In the other direction, we are seeking accreditation by the College of Surgery for East, Central and South Africa (COSECSA). This is an international college of surgery and, if we can gain approval for five years of training, our graduates can take their board examinations and become fellows of COSECSA if they pass. This would allow them considerable credibility to practice in participating countries. We were recently visited by a pediatric surgeon from Kijabe, Kenya, which also has a residency program with PAACS. He has gone through the process of COSECSA accreditation at his institution and came to give us his advice and opinions about our process. It was encouraging but we have a lot to do. In trying to firm up our program, we may look into arranging additional rotations at other hospitals in the future.

Whew, first of all, they don’t teach this stuff in medical school or residency. Second of all, I’m not sure I have what you might call a “gift” for this. Please pray that God will work a miracle and make me actually effective in all this. This is truly intimidating for a guy who had to wait tables in college to learn to interact with strangers since it literally forced him to talk to people. Though on a much humbler level, I can imagine what Moses must have been thinking when he insisted to God that he couldn’t lead the Israelites from Egypt because of his awkwardness.

On a smaller picture level, we are slowly making progress at the hospital. We have started doing laparoscopic surgery and I’m excited to start doing more. I hope it will be a good experience for the residents and help the hospital as well. We’ve taken out some gallbladders and I would like to start doing more.

The administrative work at the hospital continues to grow and I think we are seeing improvements being made. There are so many aspects of medical care that I took for granted in the US because it was already being done. When very little can be taken for granted, it can be overwhelming to try and handle it all. Please pray for the hospital as we look to set up a workable administrative structure with appropriate division of responsibilities and authority. We still have room for improvement.

Just as a side note, I kind of miss the days when I could sink hours of my life into World of Warcraft (a very addictive video game). College and medical school guys! You have no idea how good you have it! Cherish it, love it and don’t take a second of it for granted! In case you haven’t noticed, I definitely have a “Peter Pan” side and am fighting very hard against growing up. Grrr! No way around it though.