I tried emailing this, but there server doesn’t seem to want to handle that much, so I snailed it.  I’m putting it up here because I thought it might be of general interest.

October 5, 2015

Doctors without Borders
333 7th Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY  10001-5004

I am interested in volunteering.  First, I notice in articles about you that your physicians seem all to be quite young but I see you have no age limit.  I have shingles, which I expect to recover from, and otherwise am quite fit. 

I have volunteered for Project Hope in the past, and would have done more, but the hospital I was going to work at in Ethiopia started getting shelled by secessionists, so that possibility dried up.

I have published a paper directed toward malaria control, Fluctuation of fertility with number in a real insect population and a virtual population, M.L. Herbert1 & M.G. Lewis African Entomology 21(1): 119–125 (2013), from which there were two obvious ways forward: try to get the process I suggested evaluated in real time in a real environment – which anybody could do – or continue to pursue the mechanism, which only I was likely to do.  So I went for the science angle, which absorbs me to this day.  Of course I do not have the resources to try out the program I suggest, and other approaches have professional fund raisers already, with whom I could never compete.  So that has gone nowhere.

At the moment, I am seething with rage at the suspicion that the US may have bombed a Doctors without Borders Hospital.  I wait in vain for anybody on the American political scene to say, “This appears to be a war crime.  If the US was involved heads will roll and nothing like it will ever happen again.”  Silence smells like acquiescence.  I’m old.  I remember when Americans were the good guys.  That’s hard to reconcile with a lot of what we have done this century.

So galvanized, I feel the urge to do something I have thought about for years, which is to volunteer for you.  But I know almost nothing about what that might entail.  I could do the Project Hope of old times, but they seem not to have any current missions. 

What I have to offer is that I am a board certified diagnostic radiologist licensed and practicing in the state of Florida, with my recent experience limited to non-emergent, non-vascular, non-obstetric ultrasound.  That is because of limitations of the machinery the health department can provide.  Oh, we have a digital chest unit – state of the art – right down the hall, but it is for refugees only, and we have none.  Go figure.

But I’m confident that I’m still good for “plain films,” fluoroscopy, minor surgical directed by imaging, cross-sectional imaging except for the latest MRI studies, classical nuclear medicine and pretty much imaging all around. 

Still, I imagine you can use remote interpretations for most imaging procedures and have no problem getting volunteers for that.  What my relative advantage would be would be to represent a resource on site, any site.

Maybe you have no use for a radiologist at all, or at least you might want one with other training as well.  Of course I regularly do continuing education, CME, and currently it is directed toward radiology.  I generally get about twice as many credit hours as the law requires, but I can increase that easily without encroaching on my commitment to the health department or my research.

My research will keep me here for another year or two.  After that I will probably still be in the mood to offer to join you. 

What CME can I do in the meantime to be most valuable to you in case you accept me?  I can think of emergency medicine, family practice, internal medicine and tropical medicine.  There may be something else.

So if you are keeping count, count me as a volunteer, whether you can use me or not.  Let me know what I can study in order to prepare; if there is a particular source of the CME you prefer, letting me know would be good for everybody.

Oh, yes, my French is rudimentary.  I can work on that, too.

So whatever happens, thank you for your noble work.


M. Linton Herbert  MD

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