Team Mongolia 2019

7/23/2019

It is hard to believe that in under one week our journey to Mongolia will begin. Time has flown since Dr. Sandler asked me to join him and planning started several months ago. The excitement is building day by day, but so is the anxiety: A 29-hour journey with a long, 14-hour flight (plus another at 5.5 hours), the 12-hour time difference, concern regarding finding food I can eat and not eating foods I may not want to without offending anyone, the language barrier, and a general fear of the unknown all contribute to the nervousness of this type of trip.

One huge lingering question is how I will contribute as a pediatric endocrinologist. How will my knowledge of thyroid disorders including thyroid cancer in children contribute to their health? How will my research and clinical experience in childhood diabetes in a world supported by diabetes technology help the children of Mongolia? What about all of the other pediatric endocrine disorders I’ve studied all my career? Will I be able to use that experience and knowledge to enhance the health of Mongolian children in 2019 and beyond?

This will be my second journey of similar pretense – the 1st was to Nairobi, Kenya, about 7 years ago. While there for two weeks I had the pleasure of teaching pediatric endocrine fellows in a country (continent, actually) in which there is a shortage of pediatric endocrinologists.

This trip will be quite different, but the goal is the same… not only teach other medical staff (physicians, medical students, etc.) what I can about pediatric endocrine medicine, but learn a great deal as well. I greatly look forward to seeing children with a variety of endocrine disorders and teaching at the National Centre for Maternal and Child Health, but I also very much am excited to learn about the practice of medicine in Mongolia and their culture.

~ Larry

Larry A. Fox, M.D.
Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Nemours Children’s Health System-Jacksonville
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Mayo Medical School
Medical Director, Northeast Florida Pediatric Diabetes Center

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