COSECSA 22nd Annual Conference
By Dr. Cara Liebert
February 21, 2023
With the generous support of Global Engagement in the Department of Surgery, we had the opportunity to attend the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA) 22nd Annual General Meeting, Graduation, and Scientific Conference December 3 – 9, 2022 in Windhoek, Namibia. Attending COSECSA provided us innumerable opportunities for collaboration and professional growth in global surgical education and research.
December 3, 2022: Examination and Credentials Committee Meeting
At the Examination and Credential Committee Meeting, the results to date of our ongoing collaboration between ENTRUST and COSECSA were presented, including the implementation of the ENTRUST Assessment Platform during the COSECSA Membership of the College of Surgeons (MCS) Exams. This work was supported by the Center for Innovation in Global Health and Global Engagement in the Department of Surgery through the project titled “Implementation of the ENTRUST Platform for Global Surgical Education and High-Stakes Assessment in Low- and Middle-Income Countries”.
December 4, 2022: FCS Examiners’ Workshop, University of Namibia School of Medicine
We were invited by the Chair of the Examination and Credentials Committee, Professor Abebe Bekele, to serve as General Surgery Examiners for the Fellowship of the College of Surgeons (FCS) 2022 Examinations. We attended the FCS Examiners’ Workshop at the University of Namibia School of Medicine together with leaders in surgical educators from across the globe.
December 5-6, 2022: FCS General Surgery Examinations, Windhoek Central Hospital
Following the FCS Examiner’s Workshop, we spent two days at Windhoek Central Hospital serving as examiners during the FCS Examination for COSECSA trainees, co-examining with leadership and surgical educators from COSECSA, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the American Board of Surgery, and the American College of Surgeons.
December 7, 2022: COSECSA Graduation Ceremony and Scientific Conference
We had the pleasure of attending the COSECSA Graduation Procession and Ceremony for new FCS graduates of COSECSA programs. The meeting was presided over by COSECSA President Professor Godfrey Muguti and attended by the Vice President of Namibia. Additionally, the ceremony marked a historical milestone for COSECSA with Dr. Fualal Jane Obudu becoming the first female President of COSECSA. Following the Graduation Ceremony, the COSECSA Scientific Conference was opened with the Rahima Dawood Lecture by Dr. Tom Weiser.
December 8-9, 2022: COSECSA Scientific Conference and Women in Surgery Africa (WISA) Dinner Gala
The COSECSA Scientific Conference showcased the extraordinary work in clinical research, surgical education, and global surgery in the COSECSA region, including podium presentations by several of our ENTRUST collaborators, including Dr. Barnabas Alayande and Professor Abebe Bekele.
In addition to meeting many of the colleagues in COSECSA and at the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) we have worked with virtually over the past two years, we also had the opportunity to make new connections with leaders in the American Board of Surgery and the American College of Surgeons, including Dr. Barbara Bass and Dr. John Mellinger.
We also had the privilege of attending the Women in Surgery Africa (WiSA) Dinner Gala, attended by women leaders in surgery in COSECSA and across the world, including Dr. Fualal Jane Obudu Dr. Patricia Numann, Dr. Hilary Sanfey, and Dr. Sherry Wren.
ENTRUST Collaboration Meetings (December 7, 2022 and December 8, 2022)
During the COSECSA Scientific Conference, we had working meetings with multiple existing and new stakeholders for the ENTRUST Assessment and Learning Platforms. As a result of these meetings, COSECSA expressed their intention to utilize the ENTRUST Assessment Platform for the MCS 2023 Exam with goal of ENTRUST Cases comprising 50% of the examination content and plans to incorporate the ENTRUST Learning Platform in the COSECSA MCS Curriculum in the near future. In collaboration with the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), we plan to deploy the ENTRUST Learning Platform with their surgery clerkship medical students in October 2023. Furthermore, the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) has expressed their interest in using the ENTRUST Learning Platform in their 22 training programs across 10 African countries in the future.
In summary, our time spent attending the COSECSA 22nd Annual Conference was immensely productive and invaluable to our careers as surgical educators and researchers in global surgical education. We were able to meet in person colleagues in COSECSA we had worked with virtually over the past two years, strengthen and expand our collaborations with COSECSA and UGHE in the use of the ENTRUST Assessment and Learning Platform, and create new connections with influential educators, researchers, and leaders involved in surgical education across the globe.