MUSC Global Surgery Program

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The MUSC Global Surgery Program leverages global relationships to create bidirectional clinical education, research, and innovation opportunities that improve care of the surgical patient in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and developed nations alike. In doing so, the Program aims to be the premier international partner for academic surgical institutions worldwide.

education research and care pillars in global surgery

Patient Care Pillar

The interdisciplinary MUSC Global Surgery Program comprises MUSC faculty, fellows, residents, nurses, PAs, admins, students, and other colleagues who work collectively and with their international counterparts to improve clinical patient care.

Each profession plays a vital role in executing our above-stated mission. The intentional bidirectionality enables a free flow of ideas and techniques that allow for the exposure of LMIC partners to developed world technological advancements. Simultaneously, this partnership allows our high-income country (HIC) surgical workforce to understand lower-cost strategies as well as methodological and system-based innovations and resiliencies that are born out of necessity in the high volume, high-pressure, resource-constrained environment to improve value-based patient care on the home front.

Education Pillar

The Program is committed to increasing access to clinical education. We have created an eight-month-long inter-professional elective course which is currently live on BrightSpace. The course is designed to accompany a longitudinal, comprehensive, competency-based global health curriculum—aligned with the Consortium of Universities for Global Health competency milestones—that can be incorporated into MUSC’s four-year College of Medicine program and additional on-campus Colleges.

The newly launched Acute Care and Systems Strengthening in Low Resource Settings (ACCESS) Program at MUSC offers trainees interested in acute care fields—such as Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology, OBGYN, and Critical Care—a unique educational experience to acquire indispensable knowledge for the delivery of care in low-resource and international settings. Partners representing nine countries across Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa are eager to interact, problem-solve, and overcome barriers to care with us through the exchange of faculty and trainees.

Bidirectionality is again central to our ethos and approach. Accordingly, we have committed 10% of our operating budget directly to supporting the inward flow of surgeons and trainees to our institution for observerships, lecture participation, and engagement on rounds. The knowledge gained through these experiences can then be taken back to their home countries for adoption.

Research Pillar 

Through coordination with the MUSC Center for Global Health and the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons, one of the largest surgical training groups in Sub-Saharan Africa operating in nine countries, the Global Surgery Program was awarded a $25,000 grant bolstering the third pillar of our mission: Research.

Our grant will take us to Kenya in 2023 to launch a free, universal, and adaptable surgical resident case log mobile app that will enable the collection of data comparable to that collected in HIC settings. We anticipate this data will expand international collaboration by allowing for near limitless publication on the gaps between trainees in HIC and LMIC settings.

For example, HIC surgical residents perform appendectomies or cholecystectomies via a minimally invasive approach 94% of the time based on published data. Whereas in LMICs, sample data collected by our group demonstrated that these cases were performed via open-technique (i.e. large incision) in 80% of cases. A fully-established, fully-resourced program like ours will utilize this reciprocal training gap to not only improve LMIC healthcare outcomes and access but will also inevitably improve the skills and experiences of our own trainees.

In combining these pillars of patient care, education, and research, we can connect the best global minds from the developing world with the experience, resources, and proven excellence at MUSC, inevitably leading to innovation Visualize, as an illustration of this larger point, the tremendous untapped potential and strategic alignment that exists between the well-developed robotic surgery program at MUSC and industry partners interested in capturing the majority of GDP growth—projected to account for 70% of the total in emerging markets. 

Being the global leader and thought-base for training robotics across borders by utilizing the rapidly increasing internet data bandwidth would put MUSC on the vanguard of international robotic global surgery. The MUSC Global Surgery Program aspires to quickly become renowned for surgeons and trainees from Charleston to Cairo to Caracas.

 Mike M. Mallah, M.D.
MUSC Global Surgery Program Director