During the past several trips working with various mission groups and missionaries, my sense of being useful in providing surgical care to patients has been accompanied by a certain amount of guilt
Racine, WI (Vocus) September 17, 2010
When Dr. Warren DeKraay went on his first medical mission with his daughter in 1978, he had no idea it would be the first of many trips to come. Missionary work would become his lifelong passion. Since 1996, DeKraay has worked with 12 different organizations, both secular and religious, to deliver the essential medical care so sorely needed in impoverished areas around the globe.
In his new book, Volunteer Surgeon (published by AuthorHouse), DeKraay gives a unique insight into the world of a travelling surgeon. He details providing surgical assistance in various missionary hospitals around the world, and chronicles working in some of the world’s most challenging environments.
“During the past several trips working with various mission groups and missionaries, my sense of being useful in providing surgical care to patients has been accompanied by a certain amount of guilt,” writes DeKraay (from the book’s introduction). “One day, while I was presenting a program to congregants in our church, a girl asked me why I did mission work. Before I could even think I answered, ‘A sense of guilt.’ Perhaps guilt is a subconscious factor in my missionary effort; but at the same time, I know that I have also been driven by a desire to use my medical skills to help people who live where surgical care is not always available.”
DeKraay describes with honesty the difficulties of mission work. He confesses he often finds himself overcome with guilt that despite his efforts, he cannot help every person in need that he encounters. One of his goals for this book is to stimulate interest among healthcare professionals to consider working abroad through the myriad missionary networks available to U.S. healthcare workers.
Volunteer Surgeon includes information on organizations that sponsor healthcare professionals. This book also shows how medical missionary trips, like the ones taken by DeKraay, can provide memorable opportunities for families to work together and share bonding experiences in this rewarding field.
About the Author
Warren DeKraay, M.D. was born in Sioux Center, Iowa in 1930. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, later graduating from the University of Iowa’s Medical School in 1955. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1957, where he served until 1959. Starting his general practice in 1962, he would take his expertise to the Dominican Republic in 1978 for his first missionary assignment. Continuing to develop his skills with a second residency in Thoracic and Peripheral Vascular surgery, he moved to Racine, Wis., where he and his wife, Nancy, continued to provide surgical services to remote villages around the world, including Africa, China and South America. This is his first book. The author welcomes personal correspondence at [email protected]
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