A Lewes urologist, R.U. Hosmane, was inspired early on by his father, who practiced medicine in a seaside Indian town. “My dad never turned anyone away,” Hosmane says of the sick people who would show up at the family’s home. “Some would pay now. Some would pay later. Some would never pay.”
The physician, who has been at Beebe Healthcare since 1978, never forgot the generosity and caring he witnessed as a child, which explains why he led a group of volunteer doctors and nurses on a medical/surgical mission to his homeland last February. “We asked to see only the most unfortunate patients,” says Hosmane, 75, who performed 10 surgeries there. “Many of the people we treated had never been examined by a doctor before.”
The Lewes-Rehoboth Rotary Club helped to sponsor the trip by raising $15,000 for medical equipment that was later donated to an Indian hospital. The volunteers paid their own expenses.
The trip was also a family affair. Hosmane’s wife, Kusuma, was involved with patient registration and as a translator, and his son, Vinay R. Hosmane, was one of the volunteer U.S. physicians. Four of the participating Indian doctors were Hosmane’s cousins.
Other local medical personnel also aided the effort. “In fact, the Indian medical team stopped doing elective surgery for the week we were there in order to assist us,” Hosmane says. “The medical providers there are very knowledgeable. But the infrastructure and facilities are 50 years behind the U.S.”
Hosmane was impressed with the stamina of his U.S. volunteer team. And the appreciation was mutual. “Dr. Hosmane was great to work with,” says volunteer Jane Alexander, a cardiovascular ICU nurse at the University of Pennsylvania. “He was very patient and very concerned about our safety.”
But perhaps the best feedback was from an Indian cousin who called Hosmane later to say, “Your father would be very proud of you.”