The highlight of my trip to Ethiopia was meeting Dr. Rick Hodes, an American physician who has lived and worked in Ethiopia for over 20 years.
Dr. Rick, as he is known, treats patients with very advanced stages of their disease. He is an expert on spinal diseases, including cases of scoliosis and spinal tuberculosis. The week I was there he was preparing to send 10 children to Ghana for corrective spinal surgeries. He has adopted 5 children who have had corrective spinal surgeries and has been funding their educations. Some of them are now going to colleges in the U.S. In addition, he has two other homes where he supports 10-20 other children who are post-surgical and makes sure that they have the funds to attend school as well. For a more detailed description of my impressions of Dr. Rick, please go to: http://www.tuschmanphoto.com/DrRick.doc
Below is an annotated gallery of images of Dr. Rick with his patients during his morning office hours. (Click on a photo for its description.)
Before meeting Rick, I had been photographing in various rural medical clinics in the northern part of Ethiopia. ( See following posts below.) Even though I have traveled quite a bit in the Third World, I was very affected by the depth of poverty and lack of infrastructure that I found in Ethiopia. Contemplating the solutions that would get a society out of this deep quagmire of poverty left me with a feeling hopelessness. Meeting Dr. Rick and seeing him work his miracles one by one really was the best medicine I could have had to restore my faith in the ability of a a motivated individual to make such a profound difference in people’s lives. He heals more than the people he actually touches.