Dr Duncan-Smith played a major part in treating Bali Bombing and Ashmore Reef burns patients, and is vice president of the Australia Medical Association.
The Australian from Freemantle has just return from his seventh trip to Vanuatu where he volunteers 10 days a year, passing on his 20 years of know-how to local surgeons through not-for-profit organisation Interplast.
“I do complex burns reconstruction on burnt children, and also teach local surgeons to do more complex surgery,” he says.
“That way they can do more and more while we are not there.”
He recently treated a four-year-old girl with acute burns to 10 per cent of her body.
While tragic for the little girl, it was an opportunity to show local surgeons how to treat a major, acute burns immediately, something not normally done in Vanuatu.
“Because of the fear of life-threatening blood loss these patients are typically not operated on for months, resulting in painful ongoing dressings and long term problems with burns contracture.
The girl went home three weeks later, with every chance of no further surgery.