Global Surgery Symposium April 28, 2023

Save the Date! 

Introducing the first annual Global Surgery Symposium, happening on Friday, April 28th 2023 from 8:30-5:00 PM PST.

The theme of this year’s event is Improving Access to Surgical Services in BC, highlighting the interprofessional experiences of ESS and OSS certified physicians. We will feature presentations about rural surgery from experts and learners alike.

The Global Surgery Lab is an interdisciplinary, inclusive, and diverse group that aims to improve knowledge of and access to surgical care in underserved communities through innovative, anti-colonialistic, and equitable educational platforms and research projects.

The global pandemic introduced changes in the delivery of surgical care and spurred calls for action to address the social inequalities that plague our healthcare systems, including the need for surgical education that addresses historical biases and inequities in the ways that surgical providers and the populations they serve access high-value surgical care. The GSL was established during the height of the pandemic to organize and direct the growing energy of students and faculty from disciplines across campus and around the world with passions for surgery and social justice.

Our lab was first created to address the need for surgical providers in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the lack of formal surgical training programs limited the provision of surgical services to low socioeconomic status communities. To resolve this issue, a partnership between Médecins Sans Frontières and UBC’s Branch for Global Surgical Care was established to create and disseminate an educational resource for non-surgeon physicians in low SES areas. The GSL team of physicians, professors, nurses, and students designed the Essential Surgical Skills curriculum, which contains training modules for basic surgical procedures. Through the completion of this course and an evaluation by an MSF training surgeon, these healthcare providers can be equipped with the skills they needed to provide adequate surgical care to their communities. 

This curriculum was successfully implemented at the Aweil hospital in South Sudan and has since been introduced to many other communities that MSF works with. The curriculum continues to increase, with the addition of new training modules for more surgical procedures and the incorporation of instructional videos to supplement the educational content.

This project led to the expansion of the Global Surgery Lab. as we recruited more members, introduced new initiatives, and developed research projects to accomplish our goal of advancing the delivery of surgical services. Through the work of a diverse team of students, nurses, and physicians, the GSL’s vision is to achieve universal access to quality surgical care worldwide.