Global Surgery Fellowship

Creighton University
Date Posted: August 8, 2019

Dear Candidate, In 2017 the Creighton University Department of Surgery initiated a two-year Global Surgery Fellowship. “In Creighton’s Jesuit, Catholic tradition, the mission of the School of Medicine is to improve the human condition and transform learners into exceptional physicians who are leaders in advancing medicine, health, and well-being.” The fellowship provides dedicated, exceptional surgeons, to help meet the desperate surgical health care needs of developing countries – you will save many lives. The director is Dr. Charles Filipi, who has 17 years of experience with surgical health care in underserved countries. In the first 8 months of the fellowship, the fellow performs operations/procedures in the United States and is taught para-operative care not learned in a general surgery residency, but necessary in a developing country. Our current fellow, now in Rwanda, served as the primary surgeon/physician under direct supervision of a boarded sub-specialist in Omaha performing 47 vaginal deliveries (6 with shoulder dystocia), 51 C sections, 10 of which were complicated, 4 open total abdominal hysterectomies, many other obstetrical minor procedures, 24 cystoscopies, 3 percutaneous suprapubic cystostomies, other minor urologic procedures, 9 nerve blocks for oral surgical procedures, 12 tooth extractions, 43 endotracheal intubations, 29 spinal and 4 regional blocks. In early November while in the Dominican Republic, the fellow performed 31 herniorrhaphies under the supervision of a surgical hernia expert. Also completed in Omaha was a week on orthopedics for casting, a week on radiology for ultrasonography training, a week on pediatric anesthesia, a week in our NICU with a neonatologist, a two day cadaver lab that included burr holes with a neurosurgeon, eye enucleations with an ophthalmologist, how to train inguinal herniorrhaphy and hand-sewn bowel anastomoses with Dr. Filipi, cutaneous flaps with a plastic surgeon, rapid splenectomy, two nephrectomies and a psoas hitch procedure with a urologist. The last rotation was at the Maricopa County Burn Center in Phoenix where the fellow performed 110 procedures including split-thickness skin grafts, tangential debridement, contracture releases, and escharotomies. Faculty evaluates the fellow and written examinations are completed for each month or longer rotation with a score of ≥ 75% being necessary for passing. The last 15 months of the fellowship are spent at a first level hospital in a low-income country. There, the fellow is expected to perform 300 – 400 major operations and begin to train a carefully chosen local general practitioner or non-physician to perform surgical procedures. The fellow and their trainee keep a Google doc. operative spreadsheet which is monitored by Dr. Filipi and scheduled phone calls with Dr. Filipi and another global surgeon provide updates and consultation. Emotional support is available when and if needed. In addition, 26 board-certified medical doctor subspecialists serve as 24/7 phone/internet consultants for the fellow when in the developing country. The fellow is paid a PGY 6 salary during year one of the fellowship and a PGY 7 salary during the second year. Benefits, travel expenses to and from the developing country and $5,000 is provided to develop a health care project at the international site. The Omaha and burn rotations are altered in length and inclusion based on the fellows’ prior subspecialty exposure and career pathway.

How To Apply

Applicants must have finished an ACGME approved surgical residency by June 30, 2020, and are board-certified, or if within 1 year of residency completion qualified to take the American Board of Surgery QE/CE examinations. Inquiries are welcome. Please call Dr. Filipi at 1-402-250-6196 or our current fellow Dr. Megan Straughan or past fellow Dr. Kelly Shine If interested in applying for the fellowship, please provide the following documents to the fellowship coordinator Katrina Brungardt at • Documentation of average ABSITE score ≥ the 50th percentile • A letter of reference from the applicant’s surgery department chairman • A letter of reference from the applicant’s program director • A personal statement about why global surgery and what are your plans after the fellowship • A Current CV

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