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Research Article

Vol. 18 No. 1 (2020)

Training global surgery advocates: Strengthening the global surgery voice

September 15, 2019


Objective: To strengthen medical trainees around the world on global surgery and advocacy and help develop future generations of global surgeons, anaesthesiologists, and obstetricians.

Design: Training Global Surgery Advocates (TGSA), a standardized three-day advocacy workshop developed by the International Student Surgical Network (InciSioN), was built on traditional didactic lectures, role-play exercises, small working group activities, and advocacy and diplomacy training. Assessment was done using a 5-point Likert scale for 18 components regarding the perceived familiarity, knowledge, and motivation for global surgery.

Setting: The training was given in the context of the pre-general assembly of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) at Université Laval, in Quebec City, Canada.

Participants: Twenty-five participants were selected to attend the workshop from a pool of 52 applicants, of which 14 medical students from 7 high-income countries and 7 low- and middle-income countries.

Results: An average increase of 1.73 points across all 18 workshop components was observed among participants. After the workshop, all participants agreed or strongly agreed (4.64 average) on their motivation to train other medical students in their respective countries to become global surgery advocates.

Conclusion: TGSA significantly improved participants’ knowledge and advocacy skills underlying global surgery. A mixed didactic and hands-on workshop appears to be feasible, enjoyable for participants, and effective in improving medical students involvement in the emerging field of global surgery.


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