Interview with a medical volunteer at the border between Ukraine and Poland


More than 5.7 million people left Ukraine during the 2022 Russian invasion, according to United Nations data from May 5. By far, neighboring country Poland has taken in the largest proportion of refugees fleeing their homes after the attacks – more than 3.1 million, according to the same report, or around 310,000 people a week since the first Russian invasion in late february.

Many of these people leave behind all their livelihoods, except their loved ones, for the sake of protection and stable shelter amid the invasion. Countless international organizations and compassionate nations have provided resources and funds to provide these refugees with much-needed beds, food and medicine. But sometimes resources have started to dwindle as the crisis persists, and responders waiting for refugees are asking for more help.

Selena S. Li, MD, a surgical resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, is among the Ukrainian volunteers currently caring for the refugees. HCP Live regarding his team’s research on the allocation of heart transplants. Coincidentally, Li had just arrived overseas to provide medical care to women and children reaching the Ukraine-Poland border during his interview.

This special episode of DocTalk features a discussion with Li about her volunteer work at the border, the efforts of the support organization Medical Volunteers International, and how she and other generous peers received and treated refugees throughout the invasion.

“All I did today was tend to someone’s cut on his foot, and he was incredibly grateful, for anyone to pay attention or provide any type of care during their long, long journey,” Li said. “Just being on the road for days, I think, definitely takes its toll.”

Clinicians and caregivers interested in donating or even volunteering with Medical Volunteers International can find more information here.


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