GNJILANE/GJILAN, Kosovo - A multi-ethnic audience of health care professionals learned about causes of abdominal pain at a "Regional Grand Rounds" symposium held at the Gnjilane/Gjilan Hospital April 28.

Lt. Col. Doug Yoder, Findlay, Ohio, a surgeon with Multinational Battle Group East's Falcon Med, spoke at the event about acute abdominal pain. He said obtaining a good medical history and conducting a thorough physical exam of a patient is the key to diagnosing the problem. He also went over numerous ailments that could cause abdominal pain.

The Grand Rounds event in Gnjilane/Gjilan was hosted by Dr. Zijadin Hasani, a local physician. He said that the presentation was "great" and that these events are helpful by exchanging knowledge, experiences and best practices between medical professionals.

Yoder said these kinds of talks are common in the United States, and can be equally beneficial in Kosovo. MNBG E's Falcon Med facilitates regional grand rounds events on a regular basis. Since October 2009, events have been held in Kamenica/Kamenice, Viti/Vitina, Ferizaj/Urosevac, and Strpce/Shtrpce. A previous Grand Rounds event was held in Gnjilane/Gjilan in February.

Yoder, who attended medical school at the University of Cincinnati, is completing a 90-day rotation at the Camp Bondsteel hospital, during his fourth deployment. As part of a program to introduce Kosovo surgeons to western medical surgical procedures, Yoder observed doctors from the Gnjilane/Gjilan Hospital perform two surgeries the day after the Grand Rounds. He has traveled to other towns in the Battle Group East area of operation to observe surgeries and help train local physicians and members of their surgical teams.

Yoder said that the Grand Rounds training is helpful because of the ever changing nature of medicine and for continuing medical education.

"In the field of medicine, we learn every day," he said. "There are always things you can take home to make yourself better and improve the care you provide."