Current status of international experiences in general surgery residency programs in the United States

Filipe A. Sobral, Alexis N. Bowder, Lynette M Smith, Advaitaa Ravipati, Melissa K. Suh, Chandrakanth Are

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Background: The aim of this study is to identify, quantify, and characterize the international experiences available for general surgery residents in the general surgery residency programs in the United States (US). Methods: The Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA) database was used to identify all the general surgery residency programs in the US. Each institution was contacted by both e-mail and telephone. Respondents were asked if an international experience was available for residents within their program and, if available, details of the experience were obtained. Results: A total of 253 general surgery residency programs were identified using the FREIDA database. Eighty-six (34 %) programs were noted to offer an international experience for their residents. A majority are incorporated into the PGY 3 and PGY 4 level of training with a duration of 1–4 weeks. Common locations are evenly distributed among the Americas and Africa and are usually funded through a combination of resident and department funding. Conclusions: US resident interest in global health is growing along with an increasing demand for surgical care worldwide. This is one of the first studies to identify, quantify, and characterize in detail the international experiences currently available to general surgery residents within the general surgery training programs in the US. These results can help general surgery residency applicants with an interest in global health and also pave the path for residency programs to develop future international experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number586
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016



  • Education
  • Global surgery
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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