World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 35, Issue 12, pp 2617–2624

Elective Global Surgery Rotations for Residents: A Call for Cooperation and Consortium

  • Katrina B. Mitchell
  • Margaret J. Tarpley
  • John L. Tarpley
  • Kathleen M. Casey
Article

Abstract

Background

International elective experiences are becoming an increasingly important component of American general surgery education. In 2011, the Residency Review Committee (RRC) approved these electives for credit toward graduation requirements. Previous surveys of general surgery program directors have established strong interest in these electives but have not assessed the feasibility of creating a national and international database aimed at educational standardization. The present study was designed to gain in-depth information from program directors about features of existing international electives at their institution and to ascertain interest in national collaboration.

Methods

This cross-sectional study of 253 United States general surgery program directors was conducted using a web-based questionnaire program.

Results

Of the program directors who responded to the survey, twelve percent had a formal international elective in place at their institution, though 80% of these did not have a formal associated curriculum for the rotation. Sixty percent of respondents reported that informal international electives existed for their residents. The location, length, and characteristics of these electives varied widely. Sixty-eight percent of program directors would like to participate in a national and international database designed to facilitate standardization of electives and educational exchange.

Conclusions

In a world of increasing globalization, international electives are more important than ever to the education of surgery residents. However, a need for standardization of these electives exists. The creation of an educational consortium and database of international electives could improve the academic value of these electives, as well as provide increased opportunities for twinning and bidirectional exchange.

Abbreviations

ABS

American Board of Surgery

ACS

American College of Surgeons

APDS

Association of Program Directors in Surgery

IRB

Institutional Review Board

OGB

Operation Giving Back

RRC

Residency Review Committee

PGY

Post-Graduate Year

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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katrina B. Mitchell
    • 1
  • Margaret J. Tarpley
    • 2
  • John L. Tarpley
    • 2
  • Kathleen M. Casey
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryWeill Cornell Medical College-New York Presbyterian HospitalNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryVanderbilt University School of MedicineNashvilleUSA
  3. 3.Operation Giving BackAmerican College of SurgeonsChicagoUSA

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