Surgical residents’ opinions on international surgical residency in Flanders, Belgium

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Surgical residents’ opinions on international surgical residency in Flanders, Belgium


JournalInternational Health
Article typeJournal research article – Clinical research
Publication date – Jan – 2021
Authors – Gauthier Willemse, Joren Raymenants, Céline Clement, Paul Herijgers
Keywordseducation, Global Health, global surgery, international surgical electives
Open access – Yes
SpecialityAnaesthesia, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Surgical Education
World region Western Europe
Country: Belgium
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on February 9, 2021 at 10:49 pm
Abstract:

Background
International electives benefit training of medical residents due to exposure to an increased scope of pathologies, improved physical examination skills, communication across cultural boundaries and more efficient resource utilization. Currently there is no mechanism for Belgian surgical residents to participate in international training opportunities and little research has addressed the international mobility of Belgian residents. The goal of this study was to examine the attitudes of Belgian residents towards international training among surgical residents.

Methods
An anonymous, structured electronic questionnaire was sent to a cohort of Belgian residents, including surgical residents, by e-mail and social media.

Results
In total, 342 respondents filled out the questionnaire out of a total of 5906 Belgian residents. The results showed that 334 of the residents came from Flanders (10.8%) and 8 came from French-speaking Brussels and Wallonia (0.28%). Surgical specialties represented 46% of respondents and included surgical, obstetric and anaesthesiology residents. The majority (98%) were interested in an international rotation, both in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and in high-income countries. A total of 84% were willing to conduct an international rotation during holidays and 91% would participate even when their international stay would not be recognised as part of their residency training. A minority (38%) had undertaken an international rotation in the past and, of those, 5% went to an LMIC.

Conclusion
The majority of surgical residents consider an international rotation as educationally beneficial, even though they are rarely undertaken. Our survey shows that in order to facilitate foreign rotations, Flemish universities and governmental institutions will have to alleviate the regulatory, logistical and financial constraints.

OSI Number – 20929

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