HL20: Hiep T. Nguyen, MD—The Robotic Surgery Jedi
"What I enjoy the most about these trips is they really open my eyes," said Nguyen. "In countries like these, reproduction really is a natural resource, and as a urologist you have a hand in fixing this issue in someone's life. No longer is someone a burden because they can't reproduce. They are now able to participate in society, and it changes the dynamics of their life so much."
Nguyen is also an artist with works in painting, pottery, sculpting, and photography. Some of his work has sold at charitable auctions and fundraisers, and all of the proceeds he donates to IVUMed.
"My artistic side really is a necessity to do what I do. With art you can see life from a different perspective and through that you can have those 'aha' moments. A lot of people use art in that way, but I especially love what I do because I paint, and do pottery, and while I'm at the wheel with clay in my hands. I might have a problem going on at work I need to solve, and so often it comes to me while I'm creating other things," said Nguyen.
Under Nguyen's leadership, Boston Children's Hospital formed the International Health Center at the hospital, through which it coordinates trips and educational programs internationally. Once a year, Nguyen travels to a developing country to establish or check in on training programs. Recently, the International Health Center currently is developing a web-based application that will allow doctors in developing countries to continue their education and chat with surgeons and doctors at Children's.
"People criticize technology and say it costs too much or it's dangerous, but it is evolving, and we are evolving, and we can't be everywhere at once. Technology is essential to the evolution of medicine and the demands of healthcare," said Nguyen.
Chelsea Rice is an associate editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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