My partner, Dr. Kiprono and I just returned last week from Zimbabwe, where we traveled to take the second half of our fellowship examinations in orthopaedic surgery for the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA). The first half (the written portion), we took in Kenya this past September and both passed. Hence, we were invited to the COSECSA annual meeting in Zimbabwe for the oral exams, which consisted of eight, 20-30 minute stations in which we examined live patients and were asked a myriad of questions to test our knowledge.
In short, Kiprono and I both passed and are now Fellows in the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa. Additionally, during the COSECSA general council meeting, Tenwek was fully approved and accredited for higher fellowship training in orthopaedic surgery. So along with approval by PAACS, the Medical Education Committee and the Board of Governors at Tenwek, and now COSECSA (with accreditation and fellowship), what this all means is that our residency is officially a FULL GO!! Tenwek will have the first ever PAACS affiliated-COSECSA accredited orthopaedic residency program in Africa! Glory to God!
Now all we need are residents (trainees) to fill the first two positions! As such, this Friday, we will be holding interviews for our first class of residents, and we are praying for God to provide a strong pair (academically, emotionally, spiritually and physically). The program will be five years in length and so when fully-filled, we will have 10 residents in orthopaedic surgery. Without outside funding or corporate sponsorship, we will need to raise the funds to sponsor these residents-in-training. Because of our affiliation with PAACS, residents who are sponsored for training at Tenwek will "give back," year for year, at the end of training, working in areas of most significant orthopaedic need in Africa. If you would like to become a part of training African Orthopaedic Surgeons for Africa, please join our team and help sponsor a resident (www.wgm.org/orthofund). Training each resident costs about $20,000 per year.
When I returned home last week, I told Levi and Claire that my prize for passing my fellowship exam in orthopaedics was 6 billion dollars. Wide-eyed, Levi shouted something about being a billionaire and buying an airplane. I then pulled out my wallet and extracted two crisp bills, one for 5 billion dollars and the other for 1 billion dollars, and gave one to each child. Confused that these bills didn’t look like typical American cash, I explained that these were Zimbabwean dollars, and not worth much (I purchased both bills as a souvenir for 1USD). Cruel, perhaps…but also a good lesson in the value of money, inflation, and things eternal which all the money in the world could never buy.
Thanks for your ongoing prayers and support of our family! We are privileged to serve with you at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya.