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Resident expands horizons with global trip

Resident Matthew Benage, MD
Resident Matthew Benage, MD
Resident Matthew Benage, MD
Resident Matthew Benage, MD

Resident Matthew Benage, MDResident ophthalmologist, Matthew Benage, MD, traveled to the Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet, Kenya, where he provided surgical and medical care alongside an American retina specialist and local eye specialists.

During the two-week experience, the team had full clinical days treating 150-175 patients per day. The group saw a large scope of pathology and performed all types of surgeries, including retinal procedures, corneal transplants, and different types of cataract surgeries.

Benage enjoyed working with Tenwek ophthalmologists and the opportunities to learn from each other. There was a real sense of camaraderie as the group worked through clinic and surgical cases. The teamwork was mirrored by the warmth of the Kenyan people who came long distances for much-needed eye care.

“I was stunned by the kindness and warmth of the Kenyan patients. They have long wait times and oftentimes challenging conditions and they, in general, handle the challenges with tremendous grace. It was very compelling to observe,” shares Benage.

“There were many cases that the equipment was not ideal and you are forced to make decisions with the equipment available. I learned how to operate in less than ideal conditions given resource challenges and feel that it helped me a lot in surgical decision making. I also felt that we were able to provide high-quality care, in spite of resource limitations, which was encouraging,” he adds.

University of Iowa ophthalmology residents are given the opportunity to travel for an international training experience during the third year of residency training. These experiences expose residents to different health care systems around the world and help shape practice and career choices. 

Monday, March 9, 2020