Pacific Partnership Resident, Faculty Scholarly Activity Fair

Story Number: NNS160209-12Release Date: 2/9/2016 4:30:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Benjamin Kelly

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The inaugural Pacific Partnership (PP) Resident and Faculty Scholarly Activity Fair was held at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), Feb. 5.

The Scholarly Activity Fair showcased challenging cases, research and quality improvement projects performed by Navy Medicine West residents, fellows and faculty members during PP 2015 and promoted continued scholarship during PP 2016. More than 115 personnel attended the fair, including Capt. Jose Acosta, commanding officer, NMCSD; Capt. Melanie Merrick, commanding officer, Medical Treatment Facility USNS Mercy (T-AH 19); members of the NMCSD Executive Steering Committee; and residents, fellows and faculty from both NMCSD and Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton (NHCP).

"This is success!" said Acosta. "When people talk about 'Balboa Magic,' this is what they are talking about; bringing the residents, making their education better and making Balboa better. Capt. Merrick was able to make this PP mission one of the most successful."

During PP 2015, the Mercy brought medical and surgical services to the host nations of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Vietnam. Thirty-seven residents, two fellows and more than 20 faculty members from 15 graduate medical education (GME) programs were selected to participate in PP 2015. They performed clinical and educational activities, including surgical engagements aboard Mercy and ashore, community health exchanges at local clinics, community outreach events in remote villages and subject matter expert exchanges in local hospitals.

During and after their PP 2015 rotation, the residents and fellows worked with their supervising faculty members on a case report or case series, research project, quality improvement project or critical reflection. Thirty-one abstracts, authored by more than 60 trainees and faculty members, were submitted for the first ever PP Scholarly Activity Fair. Eight abstracts were selected for podium presentation and the remainder for poster presentations.

Merrick expressed enthusiasm for this one-of-a-kind event in Navy Medicine.

"I read every single one of those 31 abstracts. I remember the patients very well," said Merrick. "I am excited for those cases to be presented here today, showing the extraordinary care that was rendered during our mission."

During PP 2015, the Navy Medicine West residents, fellows and faculty members collaborated with physicians and nurses from the four host nations, five partner nations (Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and New Zealand) and non-governmental organizations such as Project Hope, Operation Smile and Latter Day Saints Charities. The mission provided a unique opportunity for trainees and faculty to receive valuable clinical experience and education in health care disparities on a global scale and to participate in initiatives to address those disparities.

"We are focusing our efforts on collaboration among host nations and partner nations for disaster preparedness in the places that Mercy goes," said Merrick. "The mission is about much more than pulling up pier side, putting down the ramp and taking care of all comers."

The NMCSD leadership plans to repeat the Scholarly Activity Fair after each PP mission, extending the beneficial impact from host nation patients, nurses and physicians to our stateside GME programs, parent commands and Navy Medicine at large.

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