International Plastic Surgery Work
Dr. Chen served as the 2009-2010 Jerome P. Webster Fellow for the non-profit Resurge International (formerly Interplast), where she traveled to over ten different countries as surgeon and educator. The Webster fellowship gave her an unparallel opportunity to practice plastic surgery from a global perspective and spend an entire year in the field being ambassador, teacher, student, facilitator, surgeon, consultant, photojournalist, and friend to many underserved people around the globe. During that year, she was able to combine some of her life’s passions: operating, helping children, and traveling. The countries that Dr. Chen visited during that year included Taiwan, France, Mali, Ecuador, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, Peru, Bolivia, and Zambia. A photo gallery of her year is available.
ReSurge International (formerly Interplast) is the oldest non-profit organization dedicated to providing free plastic and reconstructive surgery to children around the world, recently celebrating its 45th anniversary. For over a decade, ReSurge International chose a newly trained plastic surgeon to be their Jerome P. Webster fellow to spend an entire year in the field. An important part of the philosophy was education and working with local partner surgeons towards paths of sustainability.
To reach the ultimate goal of health care self-sufficiency, these countries need to start their own residency programs to train their own surgeons, and Dr. Chen had the wonderful opportunity to work with plastic surgery pioneers Drs. Jorge Palacios, Shafquat Kundkar, and Shankar Rai, who founded the first plastic surgery residency programs in Ecuador(2001), Bangladesh (2002), and Nepal(2010), respectively.
Dr. Chen’s year as the Jerome P. Webster Fellow sparked her interest in global health and inspired her to pursue a Masters of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she was named one of only six Global Health Scholars at Johns Hopkins University for 2012-2013 and the only part-time student given this honor. Dr. Chen obtained her Masters in Public Health and Certificate in Global Health in August 2015.