Mongolia—to the western reader, the name evokes romantic images of sturdy horsemen galloping across the high steppes of central Asia. Dr Gunsentsoodol and his colleagues have done us all a service by introducing us to a modernizing state with a rich history and ancient culture struggling to provide modern medical care with limited resources to its citizens. The challenges facing Mongolian surgeons are similar to those confronting American surgeons: diseases of poverty caused by rural to urban population shifts, advanced malignancy caused by lack of access to proper health care, an increasing incidence of liver cancer presumably due to hepatitis B and C, concentration of surgeons in large cities resulting in limited access to surgical care for citizens living in rural areas, and surgical education.
Schecter WP. Surgery in Mongolia—Invited Critique. Arch Surg. 2006;141(12):1257. doi:10.1001/archsurg.141.12.1257