By John Carruthers, staff writer, September 03, 2012
Buffalo, N.Y., dermatologist Robert Kalb, MD, found the opportunity to volunteer overseas when his two then college-aged children decided to travel to Cambodia a country where the Academy and Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) have partnered to offer dermatologists the chance to treat severely underserved patients. Dr. Kalb took advantage of the opportunity to offer his medical expertise while his children taught at the Goldstone school, teaching English to children.
Six years into his involvement, Dr. Kalb makes trips back to the Cambodia, hoping to bolster the educational opportunities for medical students in that country. He has made four separate two-week trips to volunteer.
"While I saw patients, my son worked at a school, and my wife and daughter volunteered as well. It was an extremely positive experience for all of us."
- While in Cambodia, Dr. Kalb developed a relationship with Sithach Mey, MD, the only board-certified dermatologist in the entirety of the country, as well as the medical students and residents of the region.
- “It’s very worthwhile to see what dermatology is like in another country, what the access to health care is like, and what people struggle with. It helped us appreciate what we have.
- Dr. Kalb, having come from a family of nine, said that he felt fortunate to have been able to attend college and medical school. In addition to his support of students in Cambodia, Dr. Kalb coordinates a free dermatology clinic in his hometown, and has a volunteer appointment at SUNY-Buffalo’s medical school.
- “I’ve long been a believer in the power of education to lift someone out of poverty, so I wanted to volunteer my expertise in any way I could.”
To nominate a physician, visit www.aad.org/membersmakingadifference.