Sunday, October 27, 2013


I like doing introductions… Today I got to introduce a concept at the Liberia Medical and Dental Association (LMDA) meeting: the concept of starting Family Medicine Residency training in Liberia.  

I’ve been having some discussions with those in authority over physician training, and they encouraged me to speak on this topic at the LMDA. I reviewed the exciting history of the discipline in Nigeria, where thousands of Family Medicine residents have been trained since the early 1980s; reflected on some of my own experiences over the last 18 years; and wrapped up by asking the question “Is it the right time for Family Medicine in Liberia?” 

There was some pretty enthusiastic support for the concept, as well as some lively questions and discussion about the logistics and details. I was joined at the meeting by our newest arrival, Dr. Kent Brantly, a Family Physician from the US serving here through the Samaritans’ Purse/World Medical Mission 2-year Post-Residency Program. He’ll also be a part of developing this vision. We are anxious to see what God is going to do! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Trip Down Memory Lane featured an article today about our evacuation from Liberia in April 1996.  It has some great photos as well as a good account of that day from someone who remembers the details far better than I do.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013


Debbie and I have been here a week… we’re over jet lag; I’ve even seen a couple patients! But we’re just getting into the real business of this transition, and we are right in the middle of a rather big transition for ELWA Hospital that will last at least another year. 

The obvious physical transition is that ELWA is going to move into a new hospital, hopefully by the end of 2014.  The hospital is being built for ELWA by Samaritan’s Purse (SP). The Kitchen/Laundry Building is complete; the cement block structure of the new Outpatient Clinic is mostly done; the Male, Female, and Pediatrics Wards are being built; and the Operating Room and Obstetrics Ward will be next. 

Some masons working on the upstairs Pediatrics Ward (above), and the new Male Ward (below).

SP’s Construction Supervisor, our good friend Rusty Laird, alongside the Outpatient Clinic (below):

The less visible transition is actually even more challenging, but also more rewarding.  We already have 2 new surgeons here (one missionary and one Liberian); two more family docs are scheduled to arrive during the next couple of months.  We will need to find ways to fit in with the doctors already here working, to improve the conditions and care at the hospital to a level where both effective ministry and residency training can take place, and begin the routines of quality improvement and learning that will help us start a Family Medicine Residency Program for local doctors.  All with a cross-cultural team of physicians.  Should be exciting!  Stay tuned….