Docs In Haiti

Jul 12, 2010

Hundreds of medical professionals rushed to Haiti after the quake, working in miserable conditions to save lives, practicing what some called “Civil War medicine.”  Many still return to lend a hand, among them scores of Haitian-American nurses, doctors, and social workers from South Florida.

Click the player above to listen to health workers talk about their experiences.  The voices heard are (in order) Dr. John MacDonald (retired thoracic vascular surgeon), Dr. David Chan (UM-Jackson orthopedic surgery resident),  Carmen Maria Romero (physical therapist), and Dr. David Pitcher (UM orthopedic oncologic surgeon).

These pictures from Dr. David Pitcher offer a glimpse into the makeshift hospital set up near the Port-au-Prince airport by Project Medishare and partners in the days after the quake.  Surgeons, nurses, paramedics, and physical therapists slept on the floor beside their patients, on chairs or huddled in sleeping bags. All over Port-au-Prince, medicine, and anesthesia ran short.  Health workers were forced to improvise with what they could find.

You can also listen to our story, After the Quake: Patients and Healers, in which the health workers talk about what it was like after they first landed in Port-au-Prince.  In that piece, you will hear the amazing moment of spontaneous song which Dr. Chan refers to in this web extra.

For more stories about medical professionals who responded to the quake and conditions on the ground:

New York Times:  Doctors haunted by Haitians they couldn’t help

Miami Herald: Out of the rubble, a miracle named Karen

NPR: Cuban doctors unsung heroes of Haitian earthquake