Dr. Duffy has always been troubled by the disparity in health care delivery, certainly within the United States, but even more so in underdeveloped countries, also referred to as low and middle income countries (LMICs). When he traveled to Haiti during his senior year in college these concerns became very real. He has spent most of his health care volunteering time in Honduras and Haiti, two of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. He has concentrated his effort over the past decade in Haiti.
The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery was published in 2015 and helped to highlight the insufficient efforts found in much of the world to improve surgical care. Among the five key findings of the Commission:
- 5 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care.
- 143 million additional operations are needed each year in LMICs to save lives and prevent disability.
- Investing in surgical services in LMICs is affordable, saves lives, and promotes economic growth. Surgery is an “indivisible, indispensable part of health care”.
Dr. Duffy travels to Haiti 2-3 times a year to work at the University Hospital in Mirebalais (HUM) and pass on as much plastic surgery teaching as he can to general surgeons, orthopedists, and residents. He attends an annual orthopedic trauma course in Port au Prince (HAAOT) with colleagues from across the US to teach orthopedic residents about soft tissue issues. Most recently, he has participated in an effort led by several colleagues to start the first plastic surgery training program in the country at HUM. The need for a plastic surgical presence in this country of ten million with very poor health care infrastructure is massive. Dr. Duffy is excited and proud to be part of the effort.