I am a member of the Examination and Credentialing Committee of COSECSA. That committee hosted an OSCE writing seminar for two days. OSCE stands for Observed Standardized Clinical Examination. Although I agree that the attempt to standardize the testing experience and to remove bias are good and needed goals, I was still very skeptical about their ability to test the more advanced professional. Dr. Peter Gillen, a professor of surgery from the Royal College of Surgery Ireland, did a yeoman’s job of helping to sway the opinion of a room full of skeptics like me. Writing these testing stations is not easy. Each one took two or three surgeons two or three hours to write. Typically, the exam might have 15 – 18 such stations. Since I may be taking the leadership of the exam committee next year (that is still awaiting confirmation), I may go to Ireland sometime before February to learn more about it from Professor Gillen. Our PAACS residents have never seen this testing technique in action in some of the areas and I would like to figure out how to help them prepare.
Most medical missionaries owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Maurice King, a British Christian whose name is not well-known outside of certain circles. A few decades ago, despite his training as a pathologist, he created three texts designed to help interns do surgery and give anesthesia when there was no other viable alternative. Although some have scoffed at their simplicity, virtually everyone I know has consulted these texts for those cases beyond their ken. I certainly have. In June 2016, Michael Cotton announced the publication of his revision of Volume 1 of this classic text. A few days after that, it so happened that I ran into him at a surgical reception in Switzerland (where he now lives); I offered my assistance on the second volume. Since then, the first volume has been downloaded without cost almost a million times; arguably making it the most widely used surgical text ever.
While in Zimbabwe, I was also notified by e-mail that I had been accepted into Samaritan’s Purse DART (Disaster Assistance Response Team) program. I will attend a 2.5 day course in N. Wilkesboro August 23 – 25 and will stand ready to help after that.
In the past two days, 43 PAACS residents took the remediation exam that the PAACS team worked so hard upon in June and July. Somewhat less than half of the residents were “required” to take it and the rest took it for practice. I may assist Dr. Thelander in the scoring of the results the early part of this week if he needs help.
Sean wants to take some courses at the local technical college this coming semester. They would count for both high-school and college credits. He missed the cut-off in math by one question and therefore retook the exam when we returned from our trip out west. Again, one question short. Quadratic equations kicked his butt. With the help of Khan Academy online and tutoring from me (after I learned it again along with him), he passed handily four days later. His mother and I admired his willingness to keep working on it until he accomplished his goal.
Sean loved his week at the church teen camp in S. Carolina. He spent the entire six days in ministry and felt it was a great experience. He arrived home on Saturday (July 23), only to leave for Michigan early the next morning.
That same Saturday night, Micky’s mother was admitted to the hospital with a bowel obstruction. Micky drove all day, went directly to their local hospital upon arrival on Sunday night and they were told that surgery was likely if her obstruction didn’t improve. In response to prayers, she indeed improved and was able to go home later in the week without another scar. Micky praises God for His timing – that she could be with her parents during this scary time.
We are also rejoicing that Micky’s final test was normal and she has been released from her surgeon’s care. Thank you again for all of your prayers on her behalf.
- By mid-August, Micky will get the end of the year fiscal reports for PAACS from the Christian & Medical Dental Associations and she will be very busy for several weeks after that making the final reconciliation.
- Sean starts grade eleven on August 16.
- Sean will spend most of next week with his aunt and uncle at their home in Wake Forest north of Raleigh.
- Micky will assist Ryan and Chrissy the weekend of August 12-13 at a wedding show in Raleigh. Ryan and Bruce recently had fun building and upholstering a fainting couch for use in their booth and pictures.