Global Surgery Fellowship: A model for surgical care and education in resource-poor countries

Shahram Aarabi, Charles Smithers, Marie May Louis Fils, Jean Louis Godson, Jean Hamilton Pierre, Joia Mukherjee, John Meara, Paul Farmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background/Purpose: Surgical diseases have recently been shown to be a major cause of global morbidity and mortality. Effective methods to decrease the burden of surgical disease and provide care in resource-poor settings are unknown. An opportunity to meet this need exists through collaborative efforts to train local surgeons in specialty care, such as pediatric general surgery. Methods: We present a novel model for the provision of surgical care and education in a resource-poor setting via a collaborative Global Surgery Fellowship program. Through Partners in Health in Haiti, this program placed a fully trained pediatric surgeon at an established rural hospital, both to temporarily serve that community and to teach local surgeons pediatric surgical care. Results: The Global Surgery Fellow performed the cases presented here during his term, between July 2009 and June 2010. A total of 147 operative procedures were performed on 131 patients over the course of 12 weeks in Haiti. A total of 134 of the 147 total cases performed (91.2%) were educational cases, in which the Fellow operated with and trained one or more of the following: American medical students, American residents, Haitian residents, or Haitian staff surgeons. Conclusion: The Global Surgery Fellowship model overcomes many of the traditional challenges to providing adequate surgical care in resource-poor countries. Specifically, it meets the challenge of providing a broad educational experience for many levels of local and foreign physicians, while working within an established locally run health care system. We believe that this model is generalizable to many resource-poor hospitals with permanent local staff that are open to collaboration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1772-1775
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Education
  • Global health
  • Global partnerships
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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