The Bassett FIENS Scholarship

The Bassett FIENS Scholarship, established in 2015, enables selected neurosurgeons from FIENS-sponsored programs in developing countries to travel to neurosurgery training programs in North America for a period of 3 months.  Eligible candidates are neurosurgery residents and young faculty members in training programs in the developing world that have dyad relationships with neurosurgery training programs in North America.  The scholarship is sponsored by Mr. Dick Bassett, a FIENS community board member who annually participates in neurosurgery mission trips to Haiti.  To date, Bassett FIENS scholarships have been rewarded to recipients from Uganda to Duke University in North Carolina, Myanmar to Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan, Nicaragua to the Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona, and Cameroon to the University of Wisconsin. 

The Bassett Foundation Scholarship recipient who was at Duke in April,         Dr. Alex Muhindo; Fellow of the College of Surgeons of Eastern, Southern, and Central Africa (COSECSA).    

The Bassett Foundation Scholarship recipient who was at Duke in April,         Dr. Alex Muhindo; Fellow of the College of Surgeons of Eastern, Southern, and Central Africa (COSECSA).

 

 

April 2016 visit to Duke University Hospital as part of FIENS Travel Grant: Dr. Muhindo and Dr. Mukasa


Dr. Muhina is the first Ugandan Fellow of COSECA Neurosurgery, trained in the Duke Mulago Program in Uganda, under Co-Directors of the Program Michael Muhumuza, Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon, Mulago Hospital and Michael M. Haglund MD, PhD, MACM, Vice Chair Education and Program Director Duke Neurosurgery Program.


I always heard about Duke University but it was not until April 2016 that I visited this place with my senior colleague, Dr. Mukasa. It was a marvelous experience, especially on our first day. We went to the neurosurgery operating theaters where we watched several complex operations being done in 7 different rooms all at the same time! The rooms had a lot of equipment, including microscopes, monitors, C-arms, neuronavigation, endoscopes and even CT and MRI scans!  All the equipment worked perfectly and there were no intraoperative delays from equipment failure.  The patient care before, during, and after surgery was excellent and patient turnover very efficient. 


We also visited the Neuro ICU and rounded with the several teams of neurointensivists. We hadn't seen an ICU this big, with about 26 beds. They even had a portable CT scanner, which made patient imaging prompt.
We interacted and learnt daily from the Professors, residents, fellows, nurses and support staff.  

Overall our experience at Duke was phenomenal and academically enriching.  We thank Professor Haglund and the scholarship that gave me the opportunity to visit Duke and learn so much.

 

Alex Muhindo operating on large brain tumor at Mbarara Hospital in Uganda independently as the first trained Neurosurgeon in the Duke Mulago Neurosurgery Training Program.  Dr. Haglund watching on video as Dr. Muhindo removes the tumor. 

Alex Muhindo operating on large brain tumor at Mbarara Hospital in Uganda independently as the first trained Neurosurgeon in the Duke Mulago Neurosurgery Training Program.  Dr. Haglund watching on video as Dr. Muhindo removes the tumor. 

Faculty member who accompanied Alex Muhindo to Duke. 


My trip and stay in Duke is going to remain a very wonderful achievement in my life and blessing. 
From the first day on our arrival in on 4th April, 2016 we were received by our host, Prof Haglund and his wife. This was so touching because Prof Haglund walked straight from theater tired but very happy and took us in a very nice place for our welcoming dinner. 
 
From the following day real business started.  My dear on our first day into the operating theaters, I simply thought we had entered heaven. 

Not only did we see this magnificent state of art operating theater but all the surgeons would take us through their operations before they started. Then would endeavor to show us or explain to us during their operations.  We definitely learnt quite a lot like resecting and removing an olfactory groove meningioma through a very small incision. 


In ICU was another experience doing rounds with a nurse, respirator, pharmacist, intensivist and neurologist. Here we saw and learnt how to extensively examine all the systems of a patient.

I can't also forget when one of the ICU doctor got an emergency call from Virginia state of a patient with mild stroke. He took us in his office, opened his computer, using Telemedicine managed to get the history and clinical investigation from the patient in their ICU. It was simply amazing. 


In Duke we also had a chance to be on night call with a senior resident. 


The morning lectures and presentation attended by all professors and students. Sometimes would also be joined by lecturers from other universities.   All I can say the one month we stayed in Duke gave me a chance to learn the latest technologies and techniques in Neurosurgery.  I learnt to respect the use of team work, above all to always keep time. Learnt the beauty of writing and publishing our work/research. 
 
I think I can write a book on our stay in Duke but let me stop here.  This was very educative experience. 


Lastly I am very grateful to Professor Haglund and the Duke staff for having invited, planned and made our stay in Duke such a wonderful time. 

From,
Dr.Mukasa John Baptist Nsubuga, 
Neurosurgeon Mulago Hospital, Uganda