Panamerican Journal of Trauma, Critical Care & Emergency Surgery

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VOLUME 8 , ISSUE 3 ( September-December, 2019 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Impact of Participation in an International Surgical Observership Program: Results of an Online Survey

Nancy Valencia-Rojas, Edgar B Rodas, Paula Ferrada, Michel B Aboutanos

Keywords : Global surgery, International experiences, International observership, Rotations, Surgical training, Survey, Trauma

Citation Information : Valencia-Rojas N, Rodas EB, Ferrada P, Aboutanos MB. Impact of Participation in an International Surgical Observership Program: Results of an Online Survey. Panam J Trauma Crit Care Emerg Surg 2019; 8 (3):148-153.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10030-1248

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 07-12-2019

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; The Author(s).


Aim: To assess the impact of international surgical observership, the level of satisfaction of past participants and obtain their feedback on their experience. Since 2011, the international observership program (IOP) is offered in partnership with the Panamerican Trauma Society (PTS) and the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Division of Acute Care Surgery Services. The IOP has facilitated knowledge exchange opportunities on trauma care and emergency medical systems (EMSs) for physicians in training from Latin America countries. Materials and methods: An online survey using REDCap was conducted among past participants (n = 36). The 14-question survey had a combination of dichotomous, multiple-choice, open-ended, and Likert scale questions. To keep the survey anonymous, participant identifiers were not used. Descriptive analysis was carried out. Results: The response rate was 53% (n = 19). The overall effect of IOP should be considered as positive, as 17 (89%) respondent alumni consider the IOP exceeded or met their expectations and 18 (95%) would recommend it to a friend and colleague. Similarly, 89% of the IOP's alumni believe that the observership helped them with their career growth. Most of the observers commented that the experience was inspiring, opened their minds, and broadened their horizons. Conclusion: The present survey adds further evidence of the positive impact that international observerships offer to physicians in training coming from low- and middle-income countries. The IOP introduces students to new knowledge for comprehensive care of trauma patients that would be advantageous to their future professional roles.

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