Training Neurosurgeons in Myanmar and Surrounding Countries: The Resident Perspective

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World Neurosurg


INTRODUCTION: In recent decades there has been a significant expansion of neurosurgical capabilities in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Southeast Asia. Despite these developments, little is known about the structure and quality of local neurosurgical training paradigms.

METHODS: A 36-question survey was administered to neurosurgical trainees in person at the Southeast Asian Neurosurgical Bootcamp to assess demographics, structure, and exposure of neurosurgical training in Southeast Asia.

RESULTS: A total of 45 out of 47 possible respondents participated in the survey; 78% were men, with an age range of 26-40 years. Neurosurgical training most commonly consisted of 3 (n = 22, 49%) or 6 years (n = 14, 31%). The majority of respondents (70.5%) were from Myanmar, with the remainder coming from Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Nepal. Most residents (n = 38, 84%) used textbooks as their primary study resource. Only 24 (53%) residents indicated that they had free access to online neurosurgical journals via their training institution. The majority (n = 27, 60%) reported that fewer than 750 cases were performed at their institution per year; with a median of 70% (interquartile range: 50%-80%) being emergent. The most commonly reported procedures were trauma craniotomies and ventriculoperitoneal shunting. The least commonly reported procedures were endovascular techniques and spinal instrumentation.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the unmet burden of neurosurgical disease remains high, local training programs are devoting significant efforts to provide a sustainable solution to the problem of neurosurgical workforce. High-income country institutions should partner with global colleagues to ensure high-quality neurosurgical care for all people regardless of location and income.

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ePub ahead of print



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