Academic Global Surgery Curricula: Current Status and a Call for a More Equitable Approach

Anusha Jayaram, Natalie Pawlak, Alexis Kahanu, Parisa Fallah, Haniee Chung, Nancy Valencia-Rojas, Edgar B. Rodas, Ahmadreza Abbaslou, Adnan Alseidi, Emmanuel A. Ameh, Abebe Bekele, Kathleen Casey, Kathryn Chu, Robert Dempsey, Chris Dodgion, Randeep Jawa, Maria F. Jimenez, Walt Johnson, Sanjay Krishnaswami, Gifty KwakyeRobert Lane, Kokila Lakhoo, Kristin Long, Katayoun Madani, Fiemu Nwariaku, Benedict Nwomeh, Raymond Price, Steven Roser, Andrew B. Rees, Nobhojit Roy, Nensi Melissa Ruzgar, Hernan Sacoto, Ziad Sifri, Nichole Starr, Mamta Swaroop, Margaret Tarpley, John Tarpley, Girma Terfera, Thomas Weiser, Michael Lipnick, Mary Nabukenya, Doruk Ozgediz, Sudha Jayaraman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Introduction: We aimed to search the literature for global surgical curricula, assess if published resources align with existing competency frameworks in global health and surgical education, and determine if there is consensus around a fundamental set of competencies for the developing field of academic global surgery. Methods: We reviewed SciVerse SCOPUS, PubMed, African Medicus Index, African Journals Online (AJOL), SciELO, Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature (LILACS) and Bioline for manuscripts on global surgery curricula and evaluated the results using existing competency frameworks in global health and surgical education from Consortium of the Universities for Global Health (CUGH) and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) professional competencies. Results: Our search generated 250 publications, of which 18 were eligible: (1) a total of 10 reported existing competency-based curricula that were concurrent with international experiences, (2) two reported existing pre-departure competency-based curricula, (3) six proposed theoretical competency-based curricula for future global surgery education. All, but one, were based in high-income countries (HICs) and focused on the needs of HIC trainees. None met all 17 competencies, none cited the CUGH competency on “Health Equity and Social Justice” and only one mentioned “Social and Environmental Determinants of Health.” Only 22% (n = 4) were available as open-access. Conclusion: Currently, there is no universally accepted set of competencies on the fundamentals of academic global surgery. Existing literature are predominantly by and for HIC institutions and trainees. Current frameworks are inadequate for this emerging academic field. The field needs competencies with explicit input from LMIC experts to ensure creation of educational resources that are accessible and relevant to trainees from around the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-744
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Academic surgery
  • Global health
  • Global surgery
  • Low-and middle-income countries
  • Research
  • Surgical education


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