The brave teenager was sitting in the corner of the hallway away from other children.  A long, torn cloth covered his face, more specifically his mouth.  After slowly approaching him, I sat down right next to him.  He shifted slightly away from me with a sheepish wide asymmetric grin on his face.  As I began to converse with him through a translator, it became obvious he did not want to ...

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IMG_0785 Sitting in a rickety jeep rumbling through treacherous mountainous terrain, on winding unpaved roads full of blind curves and teetering on the edge of cliffs recently ravaged by an earthquake, I began to question my decision to go along on this trip.  We were about 3 hours outside Kathmandu, Nepal heading to a small village along the banks of the Melamchi ...

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plastic surgery In 2012, in a remote town of San Jose, on the southern part of Occidental Mindoro province in the Philippines, I met a little boy and his desperate, but courageous mother.  The boy was just a few months past his first birthday.  He was born with a facial congenital defect known as bilateral cleft lip, so commonly seen in ...

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smile maker As I finished surgery on a beautiful 10-year-old girl from a local orphanage with a secondary cleft lip deformity, I did not realize how this tiny little Filipino girl was about to humanize me and my entire team involved in her care.  When I met her the day before with her caretaker from the orphanage, it was obvious that she had ...

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I started seeing patients the moment we arrived at Apollo Hospital in the small rural town of Bilaspur. There was no time to rest. These patients had been waiting for us for weeks to arrive. It was during this clinic time, on this day, that I realized something that really struck me to the core. I have been to India to do these missions many times. Heck, I have been ...

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