Humanitarian Work - Life improvement strategies for the surgeon who wants more ... in 10 minutes - Episode 24

Pump the brakes on your week and take 10 minutes to make your life as a surgeon just a little better…

On this episode Jeff welcomes Dr. Todd Swenning who tells us how he put into action a brewing interest in humanitarian work with a 2017 trip to Paraguay, and how rapidly that is fostering his growth as a surgeon, a leader, and even a father. 

Dr. Swenning initially became interested in humanitarian work after hearing stories from friends and colleagues about how inspiring it was to provide care to people who otherwise have no means or access to the level of medical care that we have in the US. His active participation in humanitarian work has even improved his performance in other, seemingly unrelated areas, including his time management and organizational skills. He's also appreciative of the opportunity that it creates to be more present, and more appreciative of what we have.


Todd also offers two simple steps to advance your own interest in humanitarian work:

  • Research - Whether about a suitable partner organization, the location, or the type of work, or whether about your needs to expand your effort through industry or volunteers, do a little research.

  • Reach Out - talk to prior participants who have been on these missions to give you a better insight into the time commitment, the type of resources available and the resources you need to bring.

Most importantly, if humantarian work interests you and is a passion, then start your research this week!

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Todd Swenning, he is actively involved in policy making and advocacy with the Orthopaedic Trauma Association as well as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.  Dedication to education has resulted in his teaching principles of trauma management and patient advocacy both nationally and internationally.  Research projects in both fracture and trauma management have laid the foundation for his passion for trauma and fracture prevention and preparedness.

Participating in humanitarian work is a perfect example of how surgeons can improve their effectiveness inside and outside of the OR.