Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12992-017-0296-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Access to adequate surgical care is limited globally, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). To address this issue, surgeons are becoming increasingly involved in international surgical teaching collaborations (ISTCs), which include educational partnerships between surgical teams in high-income countries and those in LMICs. The purpose of this study is to determine a framework for unifying, systematizing, and improving the quality of ISTCs so that they can better address the global surgical need.
A convenience sample of 68 surgeons, anesthesiologists, physicians, residents, nurses, academics, and administrators from the U.S., Canada, and Norway was used for the study. Participants all had some involvement in ISTCs and came from multiple specialties and institutions. Qualitative methodology was used, and participants were interviewed using a pre-determined set of open-ended questions. Data was gathered over two months either in-person, over the phone, or on Skype. Data was evaluated using thematic content analysis.
To organize and systematize ISTCs, participants reported a need for a centralized/systematized process with designated leaders, a universal data bank of current efforts/progress, communication amongst involved parties, full-time administrative staff, dedicated funds, a scholarly approach, increased use of technology, and more research on needs and outcomes.
By taking steps towards unifying and systematizing ISTCs, the quality of ISTCs can be improved. This could lead to an advancement in efforts to increase access to surgical care worldwide.