Surgical Missions

Surgical volunteerism has become an important part of the surgical experience at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt.


We recognize that at the core of surgical training is the ability to take care of any type of patient with any level of resource. A surgical mission is the perfect milieu where this type of improvisational medicine can be learned and applied. These types of experiences in field medicine are critical to training. More important, participation in missions helps to maintain the outward focus on the patient, in general, and the world, as a whole.

We also believe surgical missions to be a small way to bridge the global health care gap, one patient at a time. Through these missions, we have had the opportunity to perform surgeries on those who would otherwise go untreated, on those usually suffering with the most severe and terminal presentations of disease.

Since 2007, residents and attendings at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt have participated in missions dotting the globe to countries including the Philippines, Peru, Honduras, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cape Verde Islands, Dominican Republic (Haiti earthquake relief), Ivory Coast, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Several hundreds of surgeries have been collectively performed by our surgeons in these impoverished areas. In March 2013, a group of surgeons from Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt will be participating in a surgical mission to Weala, Liberia.

The Surgical Mission Fund was founded in 2010 by members of our department to provide funding to residents at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt on surgical missions. It is our hope that through these efforts, all interested residents will be able to participate on a surgical mission trip at least once during their training. To date, eleven of our residents have received funding through our non-profit to participate in missions trips abroad.

To learn more about missions at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s-Roosevelt or the Surgical Mission Fund, please contact Dr. Grace Kim at gkim@chpnet.org. The Surgical Mission Fund is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, and contributions are tax-deductible.

Read more about one of Dr. Kim’s missions trips to Nigeria in an article appearing in the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeon in November 2012.

Short-term surgical missions make a difference: A life-changing case in Ibi, Nigeria
- Bulletin

New York-based Dr. Aye Moe Thu Ma headed a much-needed medical mission to her native Myanmar
- NY Daily News


Mission Experiences:

“The trip really opened my eyes to the needs of people without access to surgical care. The opportunity to serve these genuinely humble people of Nigeria is an experience that I will never forget. I am inspired to make surgical missions a part of my life.”

- David Lee, MD after mission to Akwa Ibom, Nigeria 2011


“From a global perspective, this mission opened my eyes to unimaginable living conditions and limited access to healthcare. Though this incredible journey was short, the heightened awareness and appreciation I have gained will be everlasting. This irreplaceable impact has led to my vow to not take for granted even the most basic amenities or misuse our resources on a day-to-day basis.”

- Elaine Chan, MD after trip to mission trip to Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire 2010


“The experience was invaluable to me as a doctor and a person. Residency can be long and arduous, and it is easy to lose sight of why we became doctors; namely to serve those less fortunate than ourselves. This trip renewed my faith that, when distilled to its most basic essence, medicine is a noble profession which we are lucky enough to be a small part of.”

- George Dreszer, MD after mission trip to Pucallpa, Peru 2008