It’s also why Salman is involved with the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund and participates in a mission trip to Gaza or the West Bank each spring. Along with a group of surgeons covering multiple specialties, including pediatric neurosurgery, cardiovascular, cardiothoracic, urology, orthopaedics and more, Salman visits the Palestinian territories to bring his expertise to patients who otherwise would not have access to it.
“The biggest factor there is the training and education level of the local surgeons,” he said. “It’s not at the level that we get in Europe or in the United States, so they’re not able to do more complex things.”
But for Salman, it’s not sufficient to simply drop in, help out for a week and pat himself on the back on the flight home. So he spearheaded a survey to really drill into the local needs of the people he’s been serving for a decade. The results were published in the Journal of Surgical Research under the title “Improving Surgical Outreach in Palestine: Assessing Goals of Local and Visiting Surgeons.”
The goal was to determine the specific needs of the population served and tailor future missions to meet those needs.
“It would be a great day for us to never have to come back,” Salman said. “I would be very happy if there was no longer a need for us to come. Ultimately, that’s the goal.”