The Medical Mission

Dr. Richard M. Hodes

Dr. Richard M. Hodes is an internist in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is a native of Syosset, NY, studied geography at Middlebury College in Vermont, and then lived in Alaska for several years. He graduated from University of Rochester Medical School, then trained in general internal medicine in the John Hopkins system with Dr. Randy Barker. He also studied in South India and Bangladesh. He is certified by the ABIM and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He was named Public Citizen of the Year for the State of Texas, and will receive an honorary doctorate in Science from Middlebury College this year.

From 1985 to 1988 he was Fulbright lecturer in internal medicine at Addis Ababa University. In 1990 he became Medical Director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Addis Ababa. He has been responsible for the health of all Ethiopian immigrants to Israel since that time, about 1% of the Israeli population. He has also worked with refugees in Sudan, Rwanda, Zaire, Albania, Tanzania, and Somalia. In Zaire, he was in charge of the health of 50,000 Hutu refugees from Rwanda, and ran a 100-bed hospital in Kibumba Refugee Camp.

In Ethiopia, he also works at Mother Teresa’s Mission in Addis Ababa, caring for sick destitutes. He sees his role as identifying unique patients who can be saved with special care. Recently he has treated patients with seminoma, Hodgkin’s Disease, Ewing’s Sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, osteosarcoma, and osteogenesis imperfecta in this population.

Dr. Hodes operates an orphanage in Ethiopia. The orphanage has 16 orphans in 2 homes, including kids with cancer, polio, TB spondylitis, rheumatic heart disease, and growth hormone deficiency. He has adopted 5 kids from this group and brought them to America for treatment. He is constantly looking for help for other kids who need specialized surgery in America. He recently received a grant to treat Hodgkin’s Disease in poor patients, and is trying to build a medical clinic for an undeserved area of Addis Ababa.

Rick is the Dozor Visiting Professor of Medicine in Beersheva, Israel, and also has a faculty appointment at University of Texas in San Antonio. He has published in a variety of venues about his work, and is the editor of the Ethiopian edition of Where There Is No Doctor.