Mentoring and training young urologists: Ongoing surgical urology training in the Dominican Republic

NORFOLK, VA USA (Press Release) - July 15, 2014 - Urology surgeons, working as volunteers for Physicians for Peace (PFP), an international organization focusing on medical education in developing nations, recently completed a training mission in the Dominican Republic addressing identified health gaps facing Dominican urologists and their patients.

The training included: Preoperative workup, appropriate selection of procedure, specific techniques and applicability for endoscopy and open reconstruction, ureteral stricture, incontinence, hypospadias, and urethrocutaneous fistula.

During the training, PFP’s International Medical Educators conducted more than 45 hours of surgery over the course of six days and trained more than 30 local urologists. The four-person team treated 14 patients, all men with urethra strictures and permanent catheters, a condition that jeopardizes jobs and personal relationships.

“Physicians for Peace is proud to have such accomplished surgeons serve as our International Medical Educators and mentoring young urologists in the Dominican Republic,” commented Physicians for Peace CEO Brig. Gen, Ron Sconyers (USAF, Ret.). “We are filling a need for health education in developing countries. This training allows urologists to care for their patients more effectively, which then results in the patient’s ability to care for their families more effectively. It is in keeping with our model, which is dedicated to restoring dignity and self-sufficiency through health.”

This was the second mission to the Dominican Republic for this team. In November 2013, they trained 40 local doctors and treated more than 15 patients.

The team includes Dr. Jessica DeLong, who recently completed her Adult and Pediatric Reconstructive Urology fellowship at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Dr. Ramon Virasoro, an accomplished urology fellow in practice at Urology of Virginia and author of several articles regarding genitourinary reconstruction.

A third trip to the Dominican Republic is scheduled for this team, which also included Dr. Ezequiel Ferrara, an anesthesiologist based in Buenos Aries, Argentina, and Carmen Baxley, a Norfolk-based surgical technologist.

Physicians for Peace has been cited by world renown economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University’s Earth Institute as one of the nation’s leading non-government organizations for mobilizing volunteers to provide medical training for the health care providers of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

About Physicians for Peace

Physicians for Peace is an international non-profit organization providing critical education and training to healthcare professionals in developing regions. For the past 25 years, Physicians for Peace has developed long-term, sustainable, replicable, and evidence-based training programs, helping underserved communities build local capability and capacity. In 2013, Physicians for Peace facilitated training in burn care, disabilities, and maternal and child health for more than 3,500 professionals in 17 countries. Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., Physicians for Peace has field offices in the Philippines and the Dominican Republic.

Contact Erin Wickersham or Dan Silverman to schedule an interview with Dr. Virasoro, Dr. DeLong or Ron Sconyers.

Erin Wickersham
Physicians for Peace
Communications Manager

Dan Silverman
Sunshine Sachs
Account Executive


Physicians for Peace