For 30 years, I had thought about the people that I left behind and had been worried about their fate.  I had seen so much destruction of life and property that I did not know if the local society had survived or if it had been extinguished.  I returned to Vietnam in 1999 to that same community in the Central Highlands and was pleased to find that life continues.  The people there are industrious and are working to improve the conditions of their families-their economics, education and health system.  I found a health system staffed by adequate numbers of personnel but hampered by the inexperience of the Vietnamese physicians and a lack of adequate medical equipment and medical supplies.

In 2000, I returned to Vietnam and met with the medical directors of two province hospitals (Buon Ma Thuot and Nha Trang), and learned they have no capability of treating urological disease, mainly abnormalties of the prostate.  The men with prostate obstruction would die of kidney failure because of the lack of treatment.  At this time the population was too poor to go to Saigon for treatment.

I proposed developing a program with both hospitals where I would furnish the equipment necessary for urological surgery and surgery of the prostate.  I asked them if they would agree with me returning to donate the equipment and teach the doctors how to use the equipment.  They both agreed, and I started on a program of developing urological surgery in these two hospitals.

The following year, in 2001, I returned and donated a complete system necessary for endoscopic surgery of the prostate to both hospitals.

A Doctor's Appeal

From 1969 to 1970, I served in the United States Army in Vietnam and was assigned to be a general surgeon in the Central Highlands.  My duties were to treat the local civilian population for both routine surgical problems and war injuries.  I was very proud of the work that we did but was also very troubled by the terrible toll that the war took on the civilian population.