The online aesthetic community RealSelf recently announced their inaugural fellowship program awards to eight surgeons who will be providing mostly free reconstructive surgery to citizens of underserved communities around the world.
“Giving is at the heart of the RealSelf culture, and our team seeks ways to use our scale for good,” founder and CEO Tom Seery tells Cosmetic Surgery Times. “The RealSelf Fellowship is designed to motivate, remind and promote humanitarianism by our large physician community.”
The inaugural fellowship program sprung from RealSelf sponsoring medical trips to remote cities in Vietnam and India. “Those trips demonstrated both the life-transforming care delivered by volunteer surgical teams and the training they impart upon local doctors and surgical teams,” Seery says.
According to Seery in developing nations, “there is an immense gap in access to reconstructive surgical care, due to a shortage of resources and physicians trained in reconstructive surgery.”
At RealSelf, “we believe in extending the life-changing power of confidence to people across the globe, which is why we created a program that not only offers financial support but that also brings attention to these needs,” Seery says.
Fellowship recipients were awarded $7,500 each toward scheduled travel and supplies to Nicaragua, Vietnam, Cuba, Ecuador, Haiti or Zimbabwe between November 2016 and March 2017.
The focus of these travels will be to perform reconstructive surgery on children and adults with traumatic injuries and correctable deformities.
“At this time, we support a volunteer physician by directing funds to the non-profit that is organizing the medical trip,” Seery says. “To deepen our engagement in these trips, we work with the organizers to develop video, blog posts and photos to tell the story.”
The eight 2016 RealSelf Fellows are Frank Agullo, M.D., of Texas; Patrick Byrne, M.D., of Maryland; Joseph Gruss, M.D., of the State of Washington; Larry Nichter, M.D., of California; Virender Singhal, M.D., of Missouri; Kristin Steuber, M.D., of Massachusetts; Seth Thaller, M.D., of Florida; and Andrew Wexler, M.D., of California.
Click here to learn more about or to apply for the the fellowship.