Co-Pilot Project in Princeton

September 25th – the Co-Pilot project duo of American neurosurgeon Luke Tomycz and Ukrainian neurosurgeon Ihor Kurilets presented the Co-Pilot Project at the Princeton University.

Princeton University Program in Russian and East European Studies and Razom for Ukraine held a discussion of humanitarian programs, specifically medical missions, to Ukraine within the context of the ongoing military confrontation in the far eastern part of the country. Leading American and Ukrainian neurosurgeons shared their experience of working within the conditions of Ukraine’s crumbling medical system and overwhelming corruption. These are the stories of successes, against high odds, as well as failures and ways to prevent them.

In the presentation Ukrainian neurosurgeon and a participant of the Razom Co-Pilot Project Dr. Kurilets shared with the audience: “I remembered Luke’s words during his first visit [to Ukraine]. He said the following: I do not have to come and do complicated operations here all the time. Step by step you should do all these operations yourself. And that is not all. You have to gather young doctors around you and share with them knowledge and skills that I share with you right now. I will never forget these words.”

The discussion focused on the challenges of healthcare and surgical training in Ukraine, and the reasons of the current state of affair. “After the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1990s and through the 2000s, [m]illions of dollars from the Ukrainian diaspora in the U.S. and Canada started to come to Ukraine. However, despite all the above-mentioned efforts, no big changes happened. Why?..” – started Dr. Kurilets, and described what he believed could be the reason.

You can find this and other perspectives in The Ukrainian Weekly article “Transforming medicine and culture in Ukraine: one example”, based on Dr. Igor Kurilets‘ discussion about the Ukrainian healthcare system and his presentation of the Razom’s Co-Pilot Project at Princeton University.
You can read more in the Daily Princetonian article “Doctors speak at U. about the status of Ukraine’s healthcare system”.

Big Thank-You to Iryna Vushko for organizing and hosting the conversation!

Learn more about the Co-Pilot Project. Support the hands-on training of Ukrainian neurosurgeons by donating today. 

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