Building Cross-Cultural Collaboration through Minimally-Invasive Surgery: The South Asia Regional Surgical Consortium at OHSU

Objective of the Study: Establish a cross-cultural, collaborative surgical educational exchange program with locoregional partners in South Asia in order to advance minimally-invasive surgery in rural areas with an established supporting infrastructure. Four areas will be addressed: advanced GI laparoscopy, educational exchange, collaborative research, and community outreach. Methods: Using Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Department of Surgery and Global Health Center as the base, a pilot program will be trialed at the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) in Lucknow, India. SGPGIMS is a high volume tertiary care referral center, whose surgeons specialize in advanced GI disease and iatrogenic injuries from laparoscopic cholecystectomy done elsewhere. Second in the nation in size and patient volume, it serves a very large population of the urban poor. (1) In 2008, we will send our first surgical resident to SGPGIMS for a 9-month period during his or her research year. This will include 4 months of exposure to advanced GI surgery and laparoscopy in the Department of Surgical Gastroenterology; 2 months in a laparoscopic training center affiliated with the Association of Minimal-Access Surgeons of India (AMASI); and 3 months of rural surgery experience in a developing district hospital setting. In exchange, we will invite one Indian postgraduate trainee for a two-month observational period in our Department of Surgery at OHSU. (2) We will facilitate a Visiting Exchange Professorship, where attending physicians from both institutions will spend 1 month at each department on a yearly basis. (3) Finally, we will make use of both institutions’ Teleconferencing capabilities to provide the opportunity for year-round, transcontinental consulting and connectivity. Anticipated Results: OHSU surgical residents will be exposed to a larger spectrum of disease and treatment, yet in an environment where resources are limited. Critical thinking with basic diagnostic tools, and cost effectiveness will be emphasized. The program will be an example of furthering professional collaboration and strengthening education and surgical treatment systems internationally. Conclusion: This educational exchange program will be the benchmark for the newly developing field of International Surgery, inspiring surgical trainees to lifelong humanitarianism and service. In addition, a template will be created for improving access to laparoscopic surgery in both urban and rural settings in India with the professional assistance of surgeons in the United States.

Session: Poster

Program Number: P364

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