The importance of open source surgical training
27 Oct 2020
One of the defining characteristics of the Global Surgical Training Challenge is the requirement that the training modules and documentation be made freely available to any surgical practitioner in the world. This will allow clinicians the opportunity to download and replicate the module with available tools and resources. The goal is to improve access to surgical training in any location, but particularly in low resource settings.
This was one of the features of the Challenge that attracted Dr. Monali Mohan, a health systems strengthening consultant in Bihar, India, and a judge in the Challenge. “Sharing this knowledge is a key to making the result useful and sustainable,” she says.
“Out there, there are no medical colleges, no learning environments, no training programs. You do, and that’s it”
Rural areas of India, for example, have a scarcity of medical and surgical practitioners, and a lack of training opportunities. “Out there, there are no medical colleges, no learning environments, no training programs. You do, and that’s it,” she says. The need for ongoing surgical skills training and self-assessment is crucial.
Understanding the resources in those regions will ensure that the training modules are relevant and can be built using available materials. Dr. Mohan stresses the importance of field work in designing and refining the prototypes. “The design teams should have a ‘day in the life’ understanding of the challenges faced by their intended users,” she adds. This comprehensive understanding of practitioners’ experiences will go a long way toward crafting a solution with positive impact.