FIENS was able to participate as a co-sponsor in the 2022 Vietnam Neurosurgery Boot Camp along with the Danang University Medical school and Henry Ford Health Team, with generous sponsorship from Medtronic and Storz. Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Ba, Dr. Tra Tan Hoanh and Dr. Le Quang Huy partnered with us for the boot camp and were instrumental all along the way during the planning phases beginning nine months prior and the running of the boot camp.
Dr. Dempsey joined several FIENS members, including Dr. Jack Rock, who was the primary organizer of the Boot Camp. Dr. Rock reflected on how the Boot Camp came to fruition. “Under the FIENS’ banner, I traveled to Danang for three weeks about 15 years ago and worked with residents and faculty at Danang General Hospital. Dr. Ba was the director of the neurosurgery unit at that time, and when he asked to hold the boot camp in Danang, I, of course, was happy to oblige.”
Boot Camps are a great opportunity for resident learning and provide the local faculty with an excellent opportunity to teach. This is greatly appreciated by the faculty, and many thanked us for doing the boot camp in Vietnam; they are eager to have additional Boot Camps in the future.
The Boot Camp served approximately 80 students, including faculty and residents, and medical students, and was supported by nine international faculty and approximately 20 Vietnamese faculty representing the major medical centers in Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City. The support of the Danang Medical School was invaluable, and an extremely high-level Boot Camp took place with discussions by international and local faculty and hands-on experience in craniotomy, microsurgery, endoscopy, as well as standard positioning, ICP, and lumbar puncture.
All of the residents had an opportunity to work on workstations featuring spinal fusion instruments, neuronavigation, microscopic techniques, endoscopy techniques, and a number of other techniques.
It was particularly encouraging to see the enthusiasm of the Vietnamese medical specialists and their desire to continue such teaching well into the future. Dr. Dempsey and Dr. Rock were joined by FIENS treasurer Dr. Brandon Rocque and board member Richard Moser. This is the first Boot Camp to be held in Vietnam, which could well become a site for regional educational activities.
Before the Boot Camp, Dr. Brandon Rocque and Dr. Dempsey journeyed to Hanoi and worked there at the National Cancer Hospital with their neurosurgical team seeing patients and operating. We sincerely hope that as COVID-19 clears, the world will begin to open up. Opportunities like this Boot Camp to expand education to other regions of the world will become a major focus of FIENS.