Jefferson University Hospital hosts workshop for international doctors

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- About two dozen doctors from several third-world countries are in Philadelphia to learn new surgical techniques.

The workshop is hosted by Jefferson University Hospital and Operation Smile.

A team of doctors, nurses and technicians at Jefferson University Hospital are performing two complicated surgeries - correcting a facial deformity and moving a graft from a patient's leg to replace infected tissue in the jaw.

At the same time, doctors visiting from different countries are watching the surgeries on a live video-feed at the hospital.

They're all volunteers with Operation Smile. It's an international charity that provides free surgeries to kids in developing countries.

Doctor Daniel Taub says the goal is to share knowledge and experience.

"Understand the anesthesia part of it, the nursing component to it, we're trying to have some discussion with them in between when we get little breaks so they can ask questions," he said.

The visiting doctors come from more than a dozen countries -- including Egypt, Malawi, Ghana, Honduras and Colombia. They're also learning from each other.

"There are many points of view you can take from this experience," said volunteer, Dr. Rafael Serrano.

The overall goal is to empower the healthcare providers so they can take what they learn here back to their home countries.

"Increasing the level of experience of local doctors is a very important issue," said Dr. Mohamed El-Shazly.

Today's event is a precursor to a larger conference in Virginia this weekend where 500 Operation Smile volunteers will get together to educate healthcare providers and expand access to quality care worldwide.
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