The Rebel Surgeon
After 30 years of working in Sweden, orthopedic surgeon Erik Erichsen has had enough of all the regulations, the waiting lists and the red tape that make his work almost impossible. Erichsen and his wife Sennait, a nurse, pack their bags and fly off to a region of Ethiopia where doctors are scarce. He is soon examining hundreds of patients a day, and his hospital waiting room is always packed. Tumors, gangrenous feet and stillborn babies are all part of a day’s work for Erichsen. In his consultation room, there's never enough time for a nuanced conversation with patients—it’s more likely to be something like, "That foot’s got to come off, otherwise you will die." In the operating room, he's upbeat as he explains to his team how they are going to supplement their meager supplies of medical equipment with bicycle spokes, cable ties, hairpins and a cheap hand drill, all of which are very useful for medical procedures. But why exactly did this Swedish surgeon—who previously appeared in Erik Gandini's film The Swedish Theory of Love (2015)—come to this particular place? And how does he ensure that here in his own domain, with no external monitoring, he doesn’t turn into an autocrat?