Why I chose to work for CURE

Ever since medical school, I have felt called to work overseas. Throughout the early part of my career, I took several opportunities to work in the developing world. I spent time with different NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and was inspired by the work, the people, and the places. Even so, I felt troubled that the quality of care I could provide was inevitably compromised. Equipment shortages, suboptimal anaesthesia, and suspect sterility meant that complex surgical intervention was, at times, not meeting the standards that we take for granted in the Western world.

Rick with Chelot, before surgery

Rick with Chelot, before surgery

My first experience of working for CURE came in 2009 towards the end of my orthopedic training in the United Kingdom. I spent a year at the Beit CURE International Hospital of Malawi as an International Fellow. This period truly opened my eyes to the needs of children in the developing world. Children would often come to the hospital with severe and neglected pathology. They would also have a history of being heavily stigmatized by their community. CURE’s Christian ministry and first-class medical care brought physical and spiritual healing to these children and their families. It showed me what is possible and what could be regarded as the norm as both a Christian and surgeon.

Chelot after!

Chelot after!

It was a leap of faith for my wife and I to come to Ethiopia with our one-year-old son. We have been in Addis Ababa for two years and it continues to be a wonderful journey. In Ethiopia, like many countries in Africa, surgeons are scarce. There are 60 orthopedic surgeons in the country; one for every 1.5 million people (compared to 1 for every 12,500 people in the UK). I feel very blessed to be a part of this work and I am reminded daily of my reasons for leaving a UK practice.

CURE is unique for the service it provides. The first-class medical care, training, and ministry are pillars of this organization. The burden of musculoskeletal disability is enormous, and often through straight-forward procedures, we can be a part of something truly life-changing for these children.


Interested in working with CURE?

Explore our current openings at http://jobs.cure.org or send an email to hr@cure.org.


Photo of the Rick Gardner

About the Author:

Dr. Rick Gardner serves as an Orthopedic Surgeon and Medical Director at CURE Ethiopia. His first introduction to CURE was in 2009 as a surgical fellow at CURE Malawi. Seeing the burden of childhood disability firsthand in Sub-Saharan Africa and the impact that CURE was having in the country were instrumental in his move to Ethiopia.

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Further Reading

People of CURE

An Unlikely Path Led him to CURE

An Unlikely Path Led him to CURE
In the Field

God Makes the Difference in Extraordinary Circumstances

God Makes the Difference in Extraordinary Circumstances
Reflections

Following God’s Call to Malawi

Following God’s Call to Malawi
In the Field

ICU Construction at CURE Uganda

ICU Construction at CURE Uganda
People of CURE

Balancing the Books and Playing with Patients: Meet Bertha

Balancing the Books and Playing with Patients: Meet Bertha
Reflections

A Father’s Unconditional Love brings Healing

A Father’s Unconditional Love brings Healing