Bruce C. Steffes

From Fayetteville, North Carolina to the farthest reaches of human existence, Dr. Bruce Steffes is truly on a medical mission. It’s a never-ending mission that started more than a decade ago, when a self-described “personal and spiritual crisis” changed Dr. Steffes’ view of life’s importance and sent him in pursuit of a bounty more significant than financial success.

Since then, Dr. Steffes has spent at least six months in each of a dozen or more countries. As a volunteer physician and general surgeon in Haiti, Belize, Guatemala, Brazil, Kenya, Uganda, Togo, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, Dr. Steffes has worked tirelessly to serve, protect and improve the quality of life for countless citizens in the developing world.

Returning just this week from a two-month trip to Kenya, Zimbabwe, Thailand and the ship Africa Mercy off the coast of Benin, Dr. Steffes is unrelenting in his quest to expand the reach of modern health care.

In his current role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons, Dr. Steffes is doing just that. Using rural mission hospitals in Africa, he is helping to train African physicians to become surgeons, as he says, “in Africa, for Africa and for a lifetime.”

His medical career started at the University of Michigan College of Medicine. He then trained in general surgery at The University of Florida. When in the United States during breaks from his mission work, Steffes is the Surgeon-in-Residence at Methodist University Physician Assistant Program where he teaches anatomy, physiology and general surgery. He holds an assistant professorship in surgery from Loma Linda University and guest lectures at the West Virginia University Clinical Tropical Medicine and Parasitology Training Course.

In an effort to help rally attention and interest in the work of medical missionaries, Dr. Steffes speaks to church congregations, service groups and missionary conferences around the United States. He has also written two books on the subject, Handbook for Short Term Medical Missionaries published in 2002 and Medical Missions: Get Ready, Get Set, GO! published just this month.

Later this year Dr. Steffes will travel back to Togo to work in a hospital there and fly to Cameroon to continue his work of training the next generation of medical missionaries.