BackTable / ENT / Podcast / Episode #76

Medical Missions in ENT: Spotlight on Project Ear

with Dr. Edward Dodson

In this episode of BackTable ENT, Dr. Varun Varadarajan interviews Dr. Edward Dodson, President of Project Ear and a neurotologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, about his humanitarian efforts in the Dominican Republic.

Medical Missions in ENT: Spotlight on Project Ear with Dr. Edward Dodson on the BackTable ENT Podcast)
Ep 76 Medical Missions in ENT: Spotlight on Project Ear with Dr. Edward Dodson
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, November 8). Ep. 76 – Medical Missions in ENT: Spotlight on Project Ear [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com

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Podcast Contributors

Dr. Edward Dodson discusses Medical Missions in ENT: Spotlight on Project Ear on the BackTable 76 Podcast

Dr. Edward Dodson

Dr. Edward Dodson is a neurotologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the president of Project Ear.

Dr. Varun Varadarajan discusses Medical Missions in ENT: Spotlight on Project Ear on the BackTable 76 Podcast

Dr. Varun Varadarajan

Dr. Varun Varadarajan is a neurotologist and skull base surgeon practicing in Denver, Colorado.

Show Notes

Dr. Dodson was first introduced to Project Ear when he joined his mentor and Project Ear founder, Dr. Paul Lambert, on a mission trip to Dominican Republic in 1995 to perform ear surgeries. Although they could only operate on 12 patients, seeing hundreds of patients waiting in line for medical care was eye-opening for him.

Dr. Dodson then shares about preparations needed for the Project Ear medical mission trips. He emphasizes the importance of their local neurotologist liaison, Dr. Roberto Batista, who helped Project Ear by performing preoperative and postoperative care for patients in exchange for equipment. In the first years of the organization, the doctors had to learn which supplies to bring and how to store them as well as how to organize staff and supplies in order to pass through customs. Dr. Dodson notes that he used to sterilize wasted equipment from American ORs during their first trips. Later, Project Ear was able to partner with Ohio State University and could give credit to residents who participated on the trips and negotiate time for employees to travel. Because the mission hospital they worked with allowed trainees, he was allowed to take senior level American residents to the Dominican Republic. Furthermore, Dr. Dodson also sought out to teach DR residents independently at another hospital and brought them new medical equipment. This initiative led DR residents to be granted permission to participate in Project Ear surgeries as well as rotate at Ohio State. Currently, multiple ENT subspecialties, besides neurotology, and audiology are now represented within Project Ear.

Next, Dr. Dodson speaks about Dominican Republic-related topics. He explains that the most common ear conditions he sees are chronic draining ears, perforation, cholesteatomas, congenital atresia, stapedectomy, and otosclerosis. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he and his Project Ear colleagues started teaching via Zoom through giving lectures and Grand Rounds talks to Dominican Republic residents. Dr. Dodson and Dr. Varadarajan also reflect on the open-mindedness and creativity required to operate in a resource-limited environment. Dr. Dodson also explains about how he navigated relationships with local ENT doctors in the area.

Finally, he shares advice and resources for doctors looking to start their own medical mission trips. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the time it takes to plan and lead a trip as well as determining that your medical services are actually wanted in the country.

Resources

Project Ear
https://projectear.org/

Coalition for Global Hearing Health
https://coalitionforglobalhearinghealth.org/

AAO-HNSF Humanitarian Efforts List
https://www.entnet.org/get-involved/humanitarian-efforts/

Disclaimer: The Materials available on BackTable.com are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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