The Columbia General Surgery Residency has long offered the unique fully funded opportunity for residents to participate in global surgery rotations with oversight by partner surgical faculty during their PGY4 elective time. In keeping with our goals to train residents who deliver expert, compassionate, patient-centered care, we feel that exposure to surgical care delivery in differently resourced environments and in the context of different cultures and lived experiences is a highly valuable component of surgical education. We aim for those partaking in this opportunity to engage in a collaborative exchange of cultural beliefs, medical knowledge, and technical skill with the trainees and faculty at our partner institutions. Residents participate as team members in pre- and post-operative care of surgical patients, in surgery clinics, and in the operating room. Residents are supervised primarily by faculty at the collaborating institution, but may also be accompanied by a Columbia faculty member. While the rotations primarily involve clinical experiences given the relatively short on-the-ground timeframe, we encourage contribution to longitudinal research and education initiatives where able. Residents are also involved in the training of local students, residents, and healthcare workers when appropriate.
We recognize that residents have connections to and interest in different environments for various reasons, and we support creating new partnerships that respect the needs of our residents and our partner sites. These are considered based on resident safety, clinical exposure, faculty oversight, institutional relationship with Columbia University, and language translation availability. To date, residents have participated in partnerships in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, France, Haiti, India, Israel, Kenya, New Mexico, Peru, South Korea, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Thailand.
At a broader level, we hope to inspire our residents not only to recognize barriers in access to surgical care, but also to strive to innovate ways to overcome those barriers, reduce surgical disparity, and work towards equitable, efficient, and safe care for patients in all communities. We encourage collaboration with our many colleagues in global health across the university:
- Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Programs in Global Health: https://www.pgh.cuimc.columbia.edu/where-we-work
- NewYork Presbyterian Dalio Center for Health Justice: https://www.nyp.org/daliocenter
- Columbia Global Centers: https://globalcenters.columbia.edu/
- Columbia World Projects: https://worldprojects.columbia.edu/
- Mailman School of Public Health ICAP: https://icap.columbia.edu/
- Mailman School of Public Health Global Health Initiative: https://www.publichealth.columbia.edu/research/programs/global-health-initiative
- Mailman School of Public Health Strengthening Emergency Systems sidHARTe: https://www.publichealth.columbia.edu/research/programs/strengthening-emergency-systems
- Columbia University Journal of Global Health: https://ghjournal.org/
- Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs: https://sipa.columbia.edu/
- Columbia University Earth institute: https://www.earth.columbia.edu/
- Columbia University Earth Institute Center for Sustainable Development: http://csd.columbia.edu/