Next Generation of Global Surgeons: Aligning Interest With Early Access to Global Surgery Education

Global Surgery Student Alliance (GSSA)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Although interest in global surgery is increasing among medical students, 1 several questions remain unanswered such as: the association of demographics with said interest, the extent that global surgical burden education has been integrated into medical education, and the availability of global surgery electives. This study aimed to assess the current state of global surgery education in the United States (U.S.) to support recommendations for future curriculum development. Materials and methods: An anonymous online survey was distributed to medical students currently enrolled in the U.S. Descriptive data were compiled regarding interest in and access to global surgery programs; demographic data were analyzed using chi-squared testing for categorical variables. Results: A total of 754 students from 18 medical schools throughout the U.S. responded to the survey. Only complete responses were included in final analysis (n = 658). Most of the respondents (66%) reported interest in global surgery, with a higher proportion of those interested being in their preclinical years. However, the majority (79%) reported that global surgery issues are rarely or never addressed in their required curriculum. Over half of respondents were unaware of whether their school even offers such programs. Conclusions: Although interest in global surgery is on the rise among medical students, results suggest that many currently lack exposure to global surgery concepts in their medical education. To that end, early exposure may be most effective during the preclinical years, so that the next generation may align global surgery participation with clinical aspirations, with the ultimate goal of addressing global disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-226
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Aug 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Global health
  • Global surgery
  • International rotation
  • Student


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