Monitoring the younger residents
I was fortunate enough to train in Haiti first and later in the United States and comparing the way we learned from our professors in Medical school, has allowed me to canalize some skills to bring knowledge in a simple way to my junior residents and younger attending. I entered Medical School in September 1970 at a period when many of our elders benefited from a relative political stability during the dictature of the Duvalier: A calm period that allowed many professionals to wish a return to the country and offer their service of the Nation.
In all fields, we had professionals embracing this vision, general surgeons and general practitioners, orthopedic surgeons and obstetricians with more specialists and technicians in different fields finding the need to join the medical force in Haiti, during the end of the Duvalier dictatorship. Engineers, professors returning from Africa, Europe or the United States were also encouraged to be part of a diaspora willing to invest their knowledge back in the motherland. It was like a wake-up call for all of us who years ago abandoned the country for better skies. Physicians from Internal Medicine and Psychiatrists to only mentioning a few, cardiologists, all trained in American or European institutions where occasionally black foreigners were lucky enough to be accepted in different programs for specialization.
I met individuals like Frantz Medard, Adrien Westerband, Charles Chevallier, Alix Adam, Anthony Leveque, Symphar Bontemps, Boris Chandler, Ulrick Kersaint, Buffon Mondestin, and later Anthenor Miot, Vatey Parisien, Lucie Paultre Sajous, Gerard Leon, Raymond Bernardin etc. Others younger physicians, like Guy Clermont were willing to parade over the different services on the campus of our Alma Mater or at the Hospital (HUEH) to expose their knowledge in Internal Medicine or other specialties. We were always eager to learn from our seniors. Many of our chief of Service were given the opportunity to participate at some training institutions, in rotation of six months, duration sponsored by the Ford or the Rockefeller Foundation.
In Orthopedics, under the hospices of Anthenor Miot, Vatey Parisien, Gerard Leon, Raymond Bernardin, Lucie Paultre Sajous, Mathieu Joseph, I grew up to become what I am now. I need also to render homage to younger attending like Jacques Pierre-Pierre, and Ronald Georges (Puepuel) for their devotion in rendering all of us better in the field of Orthopedics. The knowledge I benefited during the three years of my Chief-Residency in the service of Traumatology and Orthopedics, is exceptional.
Anthenor Miot MD, father of Orthopedics and Trauma in Haiti
Mentoring is a crucial aspect when one observes the professional development of a resident especially when he belongs to a surgical field. It instills to a trainee, guidance and insurance to navigate during training and to prepare them for a higher level of care, allowing them to sharpen their skills in their chosen specialty. In mentoring, we also benefit from a transfer of knowledge and skills coming from a more experienced surgeon. Guidance on everything from surgical technique to patient care until one is able to perform with insurance through the complexity of the health-care system. Our mentors can certainly serve as a role model while one is mastering well the best practice and attitude that may be become essential to succeed.
I was fortunate enough to benefit from my mentor’s guidance. I became chief-Resident in the service of Orthopedics and Traumatology only seven months after entering the residency program at the HUEH. Part of Luck but also part of Destiny. My senior residents, both of them, left the program prematurely, to pursue another avenue. One went to the States and chose to venture in another field of Medicine, another one went to Israel to perform in Orthopedic Fellowship. I never heard from him until he returned later to Haiti and passed-away.
I became eager to learn and I showed myself available to assist all Attending in the service. In little time, I gained their confidence and become the one by whom all decisions were passing through. In little time, after being a Junior Resident in orthopedics, I was chosen by all my orthopedic attending and all my peers to act as their Chief Resident in a busy service of Orthopedics and Traumatology at the State General Hospital (HUEH).