"In Sweden they see some blunt force trauma, but very few penetrating injuries," said Benjamin Braslow, MD, Director of the International Program for the Division of Trauma and Critical Care.
The Swedish surgical teams are here as visitors, not physicians. They will observe in the Operating Room and Trauma Bay and learn different techniques. "The training they receive will be invaluable. These General Surgeons may eventually go off to war and have no actual training on penetrating injuries," explained Donald Kauder, MD, Vice Chief of the Division of Trauma and Critical Care. "They come here to learn because of our reputation as a Trauma Center. HUP has a good blend of patient volume and the outstanding teaching facilities that an intense training course like this requires."
Upon completion of their stay, each member of the Swedish Team will have accumulated a series of cases worthy of further study. "Between the observation and the case reports they will have a much better understanding just in case they are ever presented with something similar," added Braslow. "It's a natural part of what we do so we are more than happy to help."
The program's roots date from 1998. That year, the Swedish government saw the need to further educate the country's surgeons in the area of trauma care. HUP began sending its doctors there for one week in November to give lectures, go over lab work, and to present an overview of various trauma scenarios. Over time, the Swedish surgeons arranged to visit HUP in order to get first-hand experience in dealing with major trauma cases.