In 1969, volunteer teams of doctors and nurses from a U.S. charity called Interplast began flying to poor countries to do reconstructive surgery. They operated on children with cleft lips, cleft palates or burn scars so thick their limbs were immobilized.
It sounded like a great idea. The team members donated their time, paid for their travel and lodging and sometimes their supplies, and got to do good. They were among the first teams of Western docs to take part in fly-in missions.