Identifying gaps in the surgical training curriculum in Rwanda through evaluation of operative activity at a teaching hospital

Jennifer L. Rickard, Georges Ntakiyiruta, Kathryn M. Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective To define the operations performed by surgical residents at a tertiary referral hospital in Rwanda to help guide development of the residency program. Design Cross-sectional study of all patients operated by surgical residents from October 2012 to September 2013. Setting University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Kigali [CHUK]), a public, tertiary referral hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. Participants All patient data were entered into the operative database by surgical residents at CHUK. A total of 2833 cases were entered into the surgical database. Of them, 53 cases were excluded from further analysis because no surgical resident was listed as the primary or assistant surgeon, leaving 2780 cases for analysis. Results There were 2780 operations involving surgical residents. Of them, 51% of procedures were classified under general surgery, 38% orthopedics, 7% neurosurgery, and 4% urology. Emergency operations accounted for 64% of the procedures, with 56% of those being general surgery and 35% orthopedic. Further, 50% of all operations were trauma, with 71% of those orthopedic and 21% general surgery. Surgical faculty were involved in 45% of operations as either the primary or the assistant surgeons, while the remainder of operations did not involve surgical faculty. Residents were primary surgeons in 68% of procedures and assistant surgeons in 84% of procedures. Conclusions The operative experience of surgery residents at CHUK primarily involves emergency and trauma procedures. Although this likely reflects the demographics of surgical care within Rwanda, more focus should be placed on elective procedures to ensure that surgical residents are broadly trained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e73-e81
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Rwanda
  • global health
  • internship and residency
  • surgical education
  • teaching hospitals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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