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Spring 2014
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Our Man in Haiti
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The patients started coming right away—75 by the end of the first day. Still, there were no pain meds. There was no food. There was little water. There were no charts, no medical histories—often just a name and a description of the procedure that had been performed. “Fortunately,” Charles says, “many of the patients were young and healthy.

The next morning, Charles came back to find nearly all of the patients in his nascent post-op unit back in the yard, having fled the building during a 6.7 magnitude aftershock. The process of setting up the unit began again—and was repeated with every subsequent aftershock.

After six days in Haiti, Charles returned to the United States—only to fly back to the Dominican Republic two weeks later on a pre-planned mission with senior internal medicine residents and fourth-year medical students, under the auspices of a Brown medical exchange program. Charles and two of the students, Andrew Allegretti ’06 MD’10 and Laura Slavin MD’10, were assigned to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Jimani, a border town about 45 minutes from Port-au-Prince, where earthquake survivors were being treated.

This time, the challenges were rooted in communication and clinical care. Charles, the only Creole-speaking physician on site, provided care for three critically ill patients and helped ease the concerns of their families in a language they could understand. Four days later, he returned to the States.

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