World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 31, Issue 11, pp 2070–2071 | Cite as

Ethics of Surgical Training in Developing Countries

  • Moshe Schein
Invited Commentary

“He who wishes to be a surgeon should go to war,” stated Hippocrates some 400 years BC. Hippocrates was of course right and throughout history, and even today, surgeons go to regions of war, disasters, chaos—any place where “life is cheap”—mainly and allegedly to help but often also to acquire experience. Naturally, any act of volunteerism—surgical volunteerism included—is driven by a combination of altruistic and egoistic motives: “I am going to suffer, work hard, perhaps risk my life, but I will learn, gain confidence and have fun.”

In this issue Drs. Ramsey and Weijer bring to our attention the ethics of surgical training in developing countries. There are two parties to any such training opportunity—the trainee and the recipient hospital. The arrangements and obligations for each vary widely. At one end of the spectrum is the setting where the trainee is a medical tourist who proceeds, unscreened, unregistered, and largely unsupervised, to a small rural hospital where there is no...


Medical Tourist Professional Body Indigent Patient Gain Confidence Egoistic Motive 
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I thank David Dent (Emeritus Professor) of Cape Town for his most valuable input.

Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marshfield ClinicLadysmithWisconsin

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