Through education, research, and collaboration, the Department of Surgery aims to reduce health disparities in underserved and resource-limited populations around the world. Explore this page to learn about the international opportunities offered through our residency programs, current research projects, and efforts to improve surgery and surgical education around the world.
Dr. Sherry Wren: Improving the Humanitarian Response to Civilians Injured in Modern Conflict
Dr. Jared Forrester: Clean Cut Outcomes in Ethiopia
Dr. Jim Chang: Stanford's Efforts in Global Reconstructive Surgery
During their third clinical year, Stanford General Surgery residents may choose to rotate at the University of Zimbabwe during one of their two elective rotations.
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Residents have multiple opportunities to work and learn internationally. Professional Development Residents may apply for the Donald R. Laub Fellowship, one year of intensive work in clinical research, advocacy, and organization to further Global Reconstructive Surgery. Previous Laub Fellows have traveled to Vietnam, Bhutan, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nepal, and India.
There are also multiple trips for senior clinical residents:
• PGY-4 Cleft Trip to Guanajuato, Mexico
• PGY-5 Year trip to Asia Programs of Excellence in Microsurgery includign the Chang Gung Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan with Dr. Fu-Chan Wei, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore with Dr. Bien-Kiem Tan, and Hiroshima University Hospital, Hiroshima, Japan with Dr. Isao Koshima.
• Chief year cleft trip to Nuevo Progresso, Guatemala
The Minami Fund at Stanford is also available to help fund additional overseas trips.
The Division of Vascular Surgery offers an ACGME-approved residency rotation in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada at McMaster University during the PGY-4. There are also opportunities for residents to rotate at San Raffaele University in Milan, Italy (PGY-5) and for fellows to rotate in Changsa, PRC.
- – The Lancet
Global variation in postoperative mortality and complications after cancer surgery: a multicentre, prospective cohort study in 82 countries
Higher levels of mortality after cancer surgery in LMICs was not fully explained by later presentation of disease. The capacity to rescue patients from surgical complications is a tangible opportunity for meaningful intervention. Early death after cancer surgery might be reduced by policies focusing on strengthening perioperative care systems to detect and intervene in common complications.
- – Implementation of the WHO Trauma Care Checklist
Implementation of the WHO Trauma Care Checklist: A qualitative analysis of facilitators and barriers to use
The World Health Organization (WHO) Trauma Care Checklist (TCC) has been documented to improve care of the injured. Factors that promote TCC use have …
- – Archives of Public Health
The gender gap and healthcare: associations between gender roles and factors affecting healthcare access in Central Malawi, June–August 2017
Women in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) do not have equal access to resources, such as education, employment, or healthcare compared to men. We sought to explore health disparities and associations between gender prioritization, sociocultural factors, and household decision-making in Central Malawi.
- – BJS Society
Clean Cut (adaptive, multimodal surgical infection prevention programme) for low‐resource settings: a prospective quality improvement study
Clean Cut is a multimodal, adaptive, checklist‐based infection prevention programme designed to improve compliance with six critical perioperative infection prevention practices. After introducing th...
- – The Lancet Global Health
Pulse oximetry in low-resource settings during the COVID-19 pandemic
Pulse oximetry is essential for assessing oxygen saturation during respiratory compromise and for monitoring patients undergoing anaesthesia, who are critically ill, or whose condition is rapidly evolving. More immediately, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, silent hypoxia (ie, abnormally low oxygen saturation without symptoms of dyspnoea), is common in patients with COVID-19.b In low-resource settings where oxygen supplies and monitored beds are scarce, pulse oximetry is a crucial device for triaging patients and establishing the need for supplemental oxygen.
Dr. James Chang is the Johnson & Johnson Distinguished Professor and chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. He also serves as the Consulting Medical Officer for ReSurge International, a global nonprofit that has worked to deliver and teach reconstructive surgery to those in need overseas for over 50 years.
Dr. Joe Forrester is a trauma and critical care surgeon with fellowship training in surgical critical care and field epidemiology. He was the first surgical resident to complete the Epidemic Intelligence Service Fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During his training with CDC, he was deployed twice to Liberia in 2014 to assist with the Ebola virus disease response and developed an acute febrile illness surveillance program in the West Nile region of Uganda. His global health research interests include developing better ways to build infectious disease surveillance systems in resource limited settings and improving provision of surgical care in austere, resource-poor situations. Dr. Forrester enjoys mentoring undergraduates, medical students and residents through research projects from inception to publication. In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing with his wife and daughter in Pinnacles, Yosemite, and the Utah desert.
Dr. Tom Weiser's research is focused on evaluating the role surgical care plays in the delivery of health services in resource-poor settings, particularly low- and middle-income countries. He is interested in barriers to access and provision of surgical care, the quality of surgical services, and outcomes research. He is also interested in the science of implementation, how improvements can be made and how to strengthen compliance with best practices and change behaviors for the better.
Dr. Sherry Wren’s research program has international and domestic components. Internationally she is investigating access or barriers to care in humanitarian conflict zones and low and middle income countries. In the humanitarian context, she is actively engaged in work to redesign the delivery of surgical care in the humanitarian response to modern conflicts. This work includes surgical disease epidemiology, logistic and response design, international humanitarian law, and policy implications of humanitarian responses. In the non - humanitarian context in low and middle income countries Dr. Wren is using a gender lens to examine barriers to women obtain surgical care and identifying opportunities to address the disparities and under-representation of women as surgical patients in hospitals.