The Stitch

Virtual education programs train clinicians around the world 

Clinicians gather around a phone in remote location for virtual surgical education with Global Trauma Collaboration
Clinicians gather around a phone in remote a location for virtual surgical education with Global Trauma Collaboration

The Center for Global Surgery, part of the Department of Surgery, is actively creating new virtual opportunities for discussion, education and participation to strengthen surgery around the globe. These events are made possible through collaborative relationships with universities and individuals living in regions of distress due to war and natural disasters. The Center currently hosts two online programs: the Global Trauma Collaboration and the Global Cardiothoracic Surgery Casablanca Case Series.

Global Trauma Collaboration

More than two years ago, an anonymous surgeon in Myanmar reached out to Dr. Kenneth Mattox, distinguished service professor and former longtime chief of staff at Ben Taub Hospital, and Dr. Rachel W. Davis, assistant professor of surgery, for help to further support trauma surgery curriculum in the southeast Asian country. Because of the civil war, many faculty surgeons in Myanmar had been removed from their positions, creating a lack of support for a formalized trauma curriculum. Violence has steadily risen, along with the significant need for trauma training among healthcare professionals.

In an answer to this need, Davis created the Global Trauma Collaboration with the global surgery community, including faculty from the University of Utah, Stony Brook University in New York and the Medical College of Wisconsin to help support emergency medical care in Myanmar. As part of this program, an average of 50 to 100 medical professionals participate bi-weekly in the education sessions. In each hour-long session, a speaker presents various requested topics such as trauma resuscitation during conflict, management of renal trauma, intrabdominal vascular injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and chemical weapons.

“It is incredible to see clinicians travel for hours by bike, foot or any means to receive health training,” Davis said. “Internet and electricity can be a challenge, but they are determined to improve their knowledge and skills in trauma care so they can help civilians impacted by war.”

Global Cardiothoracic Surgery Casablanca Case Series

The Global Cardiothoracic Surgery Casablanca Case Series began in collaboration with the University Mohammed Vi des Sciences de la Sante in Casablanca, Morocco, after Dr. Todd Rosengart, professor and chair, gave a series of lectures there. The residents and faculty of Baylor College of Medicine participate along with dozens of learners, trainees and faculty at the University Mohammed Vi des Sciences de la Sante. Along with Dr. Hicham Benyoussef, chief of cardiac surgery at University Mohammed, and Dr. Lauren Barron, assistant professor of surgery at Baylor, each cardiothoracic surgery team meets for a case series every two months. The series is organized into a five-part curriculum where topics are thoughtfully selected and recent cases discussed. These case studies offer a unique educational opportunity for both sides to engage in a conversation that previously had not been available. Faculty and learners get the opportunity to see different cases that are not common in their region and explore their operative management.

The Center for Global Surgery is committed to creating and supporting virtual training programs like the Global Trauma Collaboration and Global Cardiothoracic Surgery Casablanca Case Series and others in the future.

“This has been beneficial for all parties involved,” Davis said. “Healthcare should be politically neutral and accessible, regardless of geographic location. These programs are so fulfilling because we are working toward making quality surgical care more accessible in regions, particularly conflict zones, that are often challenging to access and support.”

By Tiffany Harston, communications specialist in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery

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