Comparison of Operative Logbook Experience of Australian General Surgical Trainees With Surgeons Deployed on Humanitarian Missions: What Can Be Learnt for the Future?
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JournalJournal of Surgical Education
AbstractOBJECTIVE: General surgical training in Australia has undergone considerable change in recent years with less exposure to other areas of surgery. General surgeons from many high-income countries have played important roles in assisting with the provision of surgical care in low- and middle-income countries during sudden-onset disasters (SODs) as part of emergency medical teams (EMTs). It is not known if contemporary Australian general surgeons are receiving the broad surgical training required for work in EMTs. DESIGN: Logbook data on the surgical procedures performed by Australian general surgical trainees were obtained from General Surgeons Australia (GSA) for the time period February 2008 to February 2017. Surgical procedures performed by Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) surgeons during 5 projects in 3 SODs (the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2013 Philippines typhoon and the 2015 Nepal earthquake) were obtained from previously published data for 6 months following each disaster. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: This was carried out at the University of Sydney with input from MSF Operational Centre Brussels and GSA. RESULTS: Australian general surgical trainees performed a mean of 2107 surgical procedures (excluding endoscopy) during their training (10 6-month rotations). Common procedures included abdominal wall hernia repairs (268, 12.7%), cholecystectomies (247, 11.8%), and specialist colorectal procedures (242, 11.5%). MSF surgeons performed a total of 3542 surgical procedures across the 5 projects analyzed. Common procedures included Caesarean sections (443, 12.5%), wound debridement (1115, 31.5%), and other trauma-related procedures (472, 13.3%). CONCLUSIONS: Australian general surgical trainees receive exposure to both essential and advanced general surgery but lack exposure to specialty procedures including the obstetric and orthopedic procedures commonly performed by MSF surgeons after SODs. Further training in these areas would likely be beneficial for general surgeons prior to deployment with an EMT.