Dr. George Politis has worked on five projects with Operation Smile Incorporated (OSI) in Ethiopia.  He was on the first OSI service trip in 2005 to Addis Ababa and four long term educational projects of 2-3 weeks duration in Jimma.  Anesthesiology residents  participate in the Jimma projects mainly in teaching activities in the OR and classroom  and clinical care. The residents learn to administer anesthesia in an austere setting using standard Operation Smile equipment and how to teach in a different environment.

Residents in the Global Health Leadership Track (GHLT) who participate in the OSI Ethiopia project have the unique opportunity to receive one-on-one supervision by Dr. Politis. Residents develop opportunities for global health collaboration and learn to build institutions and contacts for global collaboration.


Below are Dr. Andrew Smith’s (4th year resident) comments from his Jimma, Ethiopia mission experience in 2015:

“When people ask me about my trip to Ethiopia with Operation Smile, I’m not sure how to answer. How much time do you have? It was amazing, for so many reasons. I had the opportunity to teach new residents about anesthesia- a process that showed me just how much I had learned over the last three and a half years. And they were are hungry for the knowledge- no matter what time or how long the day had been. We taught well into the night. But we weren’t the only teachers. The trip also opened my eyes to the practice of anesthesia in other countries. I had been relying heavily on many monitors that aren’t available in Ethiopia- such as end tidal gas analyzers. It brought me out of my comfort zone, but in a refreshing way. After just two weeks without the crutch of sophisticated monitors, I had learned to pay more attention to the patient, and, for example, the benefit of a precordial stethoscope. But the greatest aspect of the trip was not the teaching or the learning. As long as I live, I will never forget the smiles- and not just of the patients. The families, who had spent many sleepless nights worrying about their children, had the greatest smiles. Those were some of the best, most genuine smiles I have ever seen. And I can’t wait to see more- I’m hooked.”