Harold Paul Adolph, MD, has devoted his professional career to volunteering and serving as a medical missionary. A graduate of Wheaton College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he has been a board certified physician since 1965. Since that time, he has served as Chief of Surgery at various mission hospitals in Taiwan, Ethiopia, Liberia and Niger. For the past 10 years, he assisted in building a surgical training center in South Central Ethiopia as the president of St. Luke’s Health Care Foundation. An active member of CMDA, he previously served as a trustee of CMDA, and also received the CMDA Servant of Christ award in 2003. In 2007, he was inducted into the Medical Mission Hall of Fame, and was recently recognized as a Lifetime Distinguished Fellow of the American College of General Surgery. He and his wife Bonnie Jo have two children, David and Carolyn, who also serve as career missionaries in Kenya and Ethiopia.
1954 Dr. Adolph graduated with a BS degree from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.
1955 Married Bonnie Jo Adelsman from the Wheaton College class of 1955.
1958 Dr. Adolph graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine after doing a research project on the Strength of Myocardial Contraction with various Anesthetic Agents.
1962 Dr. Adolph finished internship and surgical residency at Gorgas Hospital in the Canal Zone. The research projects were 1. Use of peritoneum and transversalis fascia as a vascular prosthesis. 2. The use of various Bladder Replacement Operations.
1964 Dr. Adolph completed a surgical preceptorship of 2 years in Banner Elk, North Carolina.
1965 Dr. Adolph became Board Certified in General Surgery.
1966 Dr. Adolph completed 2 years as Chief of Surgery for the U.S. Navy in Taipei, Taiwan.
1970 Dr. Adolph completed 4 years at the SIM (Serving In Mission) Soddo Hospital of 115 beds in Soddo, Ethiopia. The research projects included: 1. Analysis of the first 100 Autosuture cases, 2. Analysis of the first 20 Anterior Spinal Fusion cases for Pott’s Disease with neurological deficits preventing ambulation, 3. The use of Axial Pattern Flaps in Southern Ethiopia.
1971 Dr. Adolph completed a year of further surgical studies in Chicago, Denver, and the Mayo Clinic.
1975 Dr. Adolph finished 4 more years at the Soddo Hospital with the SIM in Ethiopia.
1987 Dr. Adolph completed 12 years of General Surgery practice at Central Dupage Hospital with short term mission projects in:
1980 - Central African Republic and Kenya, with lectures on the Care of the Acutely Ill Surgical Patient, and Autosuturing devices in Surgery.
1981 – Bangladesh and Taiwan.
1982 – Liberia and China, with lectures on Breast Surgery, Surgery Around the World, Leprosy Reconstruction, Anterior Spinal Fusion for Tuberculosis, The Acute surgical Patient, and Autosuturing devices.
1983 – Central African Republic and Kenya with lectures.
1984 - Central African Republic and Kenya with lectures.
1985 - China with lectures.
1986 – Lecturer at the 8th BVI Medical Conference.
1986 – Zambia and Ethiopia.
1987 – Bolivia with lectures.
1988 Dr. Adolph finished one year at SIM/ELWA Hospital, Monrovia, Liberia as chief of Surgery.
1996 Dr. Adolph finished 8 years at the 120 bed SIM Galmi Hospital as Chief of Surgery and was active in the establishment of the Pan African College of Christian Surgeons for training of African Christian Physicians in African Mission Hospitals.
Reconstructive surgery for Cancrum Oris in London ICS Nov. ’92.
Surgical Treatment for elephantiasis of the Scrotum in Kenya. ’92
Surgical Challenges around the world in Kenya and BVI.
Report on 562 Vesicovaginal Fistula repairs in Niger, West Africa in Kenya and BVI Medical and Plastic Surgery Workshops. ’94
Noma of West Africa, Ameloblastomas, Keloids, Plastic Surgical Challenges of West Africa, and VVF repair in Kenya and BVI. ’96
Presentation of “Surgical Challenges of West Africa” for Surgical Grand Rounds presentation at USA surgical residency programs in 133 locations by June of 2001.
Obstetrics and Gynecology for the missionary General Surgeon ’97.
Total Nasal Reconstruction, Reconstruction After African Trauma, Surgery on the Edge of the Desert, and Surgical correction of Elephantiasis.
Anesthesia for the Missionary Surgeon, the Secret scourge of African Women – VVF, and Surgical Innovation for the Tropics at the ACS Annual Convention of ’01.
Practical Reconstruction for the Tropics for “Tropical Surgery” ’02.
“Noma” in the Annals of Plastic Surgery. Dec. ’96.
“Surgery on the Edge of the Desert”, Bulletin of ACS June ’97.
“Current Trends in Medical Missions”, Today’s Christian Doctor. ’99.
The Perfect Career to Consider, Blessings to the Family in Medical Missionary Career Service, Your Theology Determines Your Medical Practice, and Career Medical Missions. ’00.
Preparing for your First Safari and Mossy Foot surgical Treatment.
“How to Build a Hospital in Africa – Without Visible Resources”, ‘04
In 1997 Dr. Adolph Received “Missionaries of the Year Award” from the Christian Medical Dental Association of North America May 10th.
In 1998 Dr. Adolph Received “Governors’ Award” for distinguished service and dedication to Central Dupage Hospital and developing countries September 17.
In 2000 Dr. Adolph Assisted Ethiopian National Christian physicians to start a new hospital called “Soddo Christian Hospital”.
In 2003 Dr. Adolph Received “The Servant of Christ” award from the Christian Medical Dental Association at their annual convention.
On February 17, 2004 Dr. Adolph was honored with the “Stewart Lecture” at twenty-fifth CMDA-CME in Kenya held for missionary physicians in Africa.
On May 8, 2004 Dr. and Mrs. Adolph were awarded the “Alumni of the Year Distinguished Service to Society” from Wheaton College.
By December 2007, the Soddo Christian Hospital had been operational for 35 months. God had supplied 3.6 million dollars. Only 1.4 million is required to complete the project. The Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons has five residents in training at the Soddo Christian Hospital. On completion of their training it is hoped that each will have their own mission hospital.
On March 24, 2007 Dr. and Mrs. Adolph were inducted into the Medical Missionary Hall of Fame in Toledo, Ohio. On August 10, 2007, the title of Distinguished Professor of the University of Toledo was given to all inductees with professorial faculty appointments.
Dr. Adolph is presently serving as president of the St. Luke’s Health Care Foundation and the Soddo Christian Hospital in south central Ethiopia. The web site is www.soddo.org
Professional credentials and affiliations:
Board Certification in General Surgery 1965.
Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons 1972
Fellowship in the International College of Surgeons 1982
American Association of Abdominal Surgeons 1984
Christian Medical Dental Association trustee 1976 to 1979, Secretary and treasurer 1978 and 1979, Chicago Chapter president 1980 to 1987. Chief of Surgery at Central Dupage Hospital, Winfield, IL 1983 and 1984. Executive Council – MD representative to the finance committee.
Past President Wheaton College Alumni Association 1982 to 1983.
Dr. Adolph’s most recent book is titled “Today’s Decision – Tomorrow’s Destiny”.
Dr. Adolph speaks on the following topics:
- Surgical Grand Rounds - 165 in China and the USA "Surgical Challenges on the Edge of the Desert"
- The Secret Scourge of African Women - Vesico-vaginal Fistula"
- Anterior Spinal Decompression and fusion for Advanced Potts Disease"
- Facial Reconstruction after Cancrum Oris - Noma"
- A Lifetime in Surgical Overseas Missions
- The Touch of the Master's Hand
- Trusting God to do the Impossible
- Doing what God says when you know it is impossible
Travels from Florida
Contact Dr. Adolph by email.
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The Reality of Today’s Long-Term Medical Missions
Perhaps our concept of a career missionary doctor’s family might sound similar to this . . . a poor missionary surgeon and his family give up a “good American doctor’s family life” to live in endless poverty. They suffer through a hand-to-mouth existence in an African country full of intrigue, Satan worship, witchcraft, fear, poisonings, arson, coups, Marxist takeovers, massive killings and persecution of Christians. Their children are forced to be homeschooled by their parents. They have jobs at the mission hospital from a very young age. Their future education and life is tenuous at best. They can’t possibly amount to anything and will probably die early of some terrible tropical disease that is yet to be unearthed.