Last summer, we signed up for a bit of adventure in the form of a medical mission. We were headed to the mountains of Peru as part of a team performing cranio-facial surgeries for the indigent population there, which has no access to advanced surgical services. Neither of us had been on a trip of this kind before, but we had heard so many glowing accounts from faculty and residents in our program who had participated in years prior. We felt we knew, at least vaguely, what we would be facing.

We were told we would be tired, and sometimes frustrated. Proud, humbled, refreshed, inspired, fulfilled and, oh yes, very tired – certainly our experience delivered on all that was promised. But the value of our trip really became tangible the first afternoon in Ayacucho, as we sat...

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