UNMC's emergency department research director was going to go back to his native Vietnam and teach the U.S. approach to graduate medical education. He was going to help improve patient care in the region where he was born. He was going to make a difference.
This, he told his friend Michael Wadman, M.D., was what he had always wanted to do at this point in his career.
"We are all very motivated to do this. It meant a lot to Paul - and it means a lot to the department." Michael Wadman, M.D.
Michael Wadman, M.D.
Now, nearly a year after Dr. Tran died with his project still unfinished, his friends and colleagues in the department of emergency medicine are bringing his dream to life.
In April, Dr. Wadman and his colleagues received notice that they had been granted a Vietnam Education Foundation/U.S. Faculty Scholar Program grant - the very grant that Dr. Tran had received and which had to be withdrawn following his death.
"We reworked the grant and submitted it early this year," Dr. Wadman said. "We are now making plans for two trips to Vietnam in the late summer and fall of 2013."
The project is essentially what Dr. Tran had envisioned. In addition to the two trips, UNMC faculty will participate in teleconferences with emergency physicians from Thai Bin Medical University, the Vietnamese partnering institution, between the visits and on an ongoing basis after the project is completed.
"We may even learn some things that will help us here in our program, especially since we train residents who end up practicing in rural EDs without much back up," he added.
"This was a well-thought-out project by Paul," Dr. Wadman said. "It's definitely a worthwhile project - but more than that, it was Paul's dream."
After Dr. Tran became ill, Dr. Wadman promised his friend that the department Dr. Tran had helped found was going to carry out the project.
"We talked a lot about this," Dr. Wadman said. "We had to change some things - you can't replace Paul - but it is entirely based on Paul's idea."
Dr. Tran wanted the people from his region of Vietnam to benefit from what he had learned in his career and at UNMC, Dr. Wadman said.
"We are all very motivated to do this," Dr. Wadman said. "It meant a lot to Paul - and it means a lot to the department."
Dr. Wadman, If you need any help with your project, please feel free to contact us. We are a group of EM Physicians who had brought EM to Vietnam with full recognition by the government and a residency training program. Our website is here http://vietnamem.org/em/index.htm
My name is Ms. Dong Kim Tran, sister of Dr. Thai Paul Tran. I would like to say congratulations and thank Dr. Michael Wadman and the group for the continuing efforts with Dr. Tran's dream. I spoke briefly with Dr. Wadman at the hospital the day Dr. Tran passed away. I am happy to see the success of Dr. Tran's vision pass along with intentions to assist the community in Thai Binh, Vietnam. Dr. Tran has spent many years hoping to build the dream to improve patient care in Thai Binh, and enrich the city with the knowledge he has gained in his lifetime. Thai Binh is the 2nd largest city in North Vietnam behind the city of Hanoi. The people of Thai Binh are friendly and dedicated. Dr. Tran would be proud to see his passion carry on through helpful hands, commitment, and courage.
A wonderful legacy to a gracious and intelligent man. Dr. Tran' s passion for excellence and reaching out to help others, which we experienced in our family is seen in this amazing project. Congratulations to the team the Emergency Department for making this dream come true.
Wonderful story. Congratulations Tran Team in making it happen, I know it wasn't without a lot of hard work and personal sacrifice.
That is so great that you will be able to fulfill Paul's dream. He was a great guy.
Congratulations and Dr Tran is probably smiling big on the team and the great work you have all done! Such a nice tribute to him.
What a great tribute to a wonderful man, physician, educator. Stong work Mike and team!!!
I believe that Dr. Tran is looking down and thanking each and everyone of you for proceeding with his dream. Pearl Sorensen Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology
The Vietnam Education Foundation Grant team includes Thang Nguyen, Wes Zeger, Alisa Seidler, Laura Robinson, and Robert Muelleman. Thanks to all for making this happen.