WiRED International Interview with Juan Victor Florez Zamora, M.D.

BY ALLISON KOZICHAROW AND BERNICE BORN

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hile in Peru for a recent trip, WiRED International Director Gary Selnow (GS), Ph.D., interviewed Juan Victor Florez Zamora (JZ), M.D. Dr. Zamora, who served as a clinician on a medical mission with WiRED’s partner, Project Amazonas, spoke with Dr. Selnow on a boat traveling on a tributary of the Amazon River.

 

GS: First, thanks for your work on these medical missions to remote villages on the river. Your involvement with Project Amazonas provides much needed medical services to these remote populations. I noticed that between clinical sessions, you’ve been reviewing some of WiRED’s health training modules on the laptop. I believe you spent some time with the Asthma module. What are your impressions?

 

JZ: Everything I checked for medical students is excellent, providing a useful and accurate description of asthma. The module is also helpful for patients who might want to understand their own illness better. It uses understandable language and is well presented. I would like to see a companion module for physicians describing treatment methods (medications and doses).

 

GS: That’s a good suggestion; thanks. We have been looking into providing additional material for primary care physicians and could certainly include an asthma module. Recommendations from physicians and other healthcare workers help us shape the overall profile of topics. What is your impression of the collection of modules in the WiRED Health Learning Center library? I know you haven’t had a chance to look at all 350+ modules, but you’ve scanned the array of topics.

 

"The modules will no doubt serve other medical professionals to provide helpful familiarity with illnesses they may have studied and treated but not seen in their practice for a while."
— Juan Victor Florez Zamora, M.D.

JZ: Yes, I looked over the collection and especially noted the Chikungunya and Dengue modules, because these diseases surface in Peru. They reminded me about some information that I had forgotten. This was a useful update for me. The modules will no doubt serve other medical professionals to provide helpful familiarity with illnesses they may have studied and treated but not seen in their practice for a while.

 

GS: WiRED is planning an upcoming Infectious Disease series, which can reacquaint physicians with diseases they may not have seen recently, but that they might encounter.

 

JZ: Access to information we have not brushed up on recently is always helpful. I am impressed by the WiRED material. Not only is the writing clear and understandable, but the images and diagrams are helpful in explaining the material. The collection is very useful in my practice. I plan to use the module library in my work during the next year when I serve for a government-required year in a rural area.

 

GS: Did any other topics stand out for you?

 

JZ: Diarrhea, dehydration, infections. These would be very helpful to teach local people. It would allow them to get involved on their own by providing them with information they currently don’t know.

 

GS: Do you have other suggestions for topics or for how the material is presented?

 

JZ: Yes, we could use modules on snake bites, arthropod bites (spiders, wasps, bees, scorpions, etc.), childhood illnesses (chicken pox, measles, mumps), and childhood vaccinations. Also it would be important to have a module that lists the shots children should have, along with an explanation so that parents understand the benefits of the shots, how the shots work, and why it’s wise to be certain their children are vaccinated.

 

GS: That’s a terrific list, and some of those topics are now covered among the modules. I’ll share your list with our medical coordinator, Dr. Miriam Othman. Please let us know if you come across other topics that you would like us to consider for the collection. The best ideas come from people working in the field. Thank you, Dr. Zamora, and best wishes for your success.

 

 


Dr. Juan Victor Florez Zamora

 

Dr. Juan Victor Florez Zamora grew up in Iquitos, Peru. His father is a physician from Indiana, Peru, a mission town near Iquitos. His mother is a secondary school teacher from a city between Lima and Iquitos on the Yurimaguas River.

 

Dr. Zamora graduated from medical school at the Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Pervana. He plans to specialize in endocrinology, surgery or infectious diseases.

 

In the next year Dr. Zamora will serve his obligatory Servicio Rural y Urbano Marginal de Salud (SERUMS). The Peruvian government requires that all graduating health professionals serve for a year in a rural area. When he finishes his service, he will start his chosen specialty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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