It's two years since BIS rolled out SURG 510 - the world's first online graduate course focusing on surgical care in underserved regions of the world. We didn't know what to expect -- 5 students? 20 students? highly experienced surgeons? residents? How will the online format be regarded? What about the quality of the online discussions?
Here's what we are learning:
- it's popular--to meet demand we offer it twice a year, September and January
- 46% of the students were surgeons
- 34% of the students were surgical residents (no plastics, no opthalmology, yet)
- Canadian residents have come from UBC, McGill, McMaster, University of Calgary
- 80% have had some experience internationally; the balance aspire to include international surgery work in the future
- international enrolment has doubled since 2009
- the online format is liked
- weekly hours spent on the course: 4 to 8
- Program Directors play an important role in informing residents about the course
We are constantly updating and improving the course to reflect recent developments and feedback from our graduates. This summer we have focussed on updating the module on maternal mortality with inputs provided by Branch member Dr Dorothy Shaw, Canada G8/G20 Spokesperson for The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and VP Medical Affairs at BC Women's Hospital.
The course has attracted participants from Pakistan, India, Kuwait, Germany, Italy, the United States as well as from across Canada. Participants include a surgeon with the Aga Khan University, Pakistan, a Paul Farmer Fellowship resident based in Boston, an Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Parma, Italy as well as the Head of Vascular Surgery at the University of Western Ontario.
HERE is why they took SURG 510
We are committed to the belief that there is always room for improvement. It is important to get feedback from our students, consider their comments, and incorporate these into the next course offering.
Here is what our SURG 510 students have told us:
- Course objectives were clear
- Online discussions were appropriate and interesting; and
- The course communicated the subject matter effectively
"I thought the content was wonderfully broad and complete - the intricacies of certain international health issues (like advocacy) that I have never appreciated in any capacity were well introduced and insightfully explored."
Bryan Wells, BEng, MD, MSc, Resident, General Surgery, University of Toronto
"Excellent readings and discussion postings."
Brian H. Cameron, MD, FRCSC, FACS, Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics, McMaster Children's Hospital, Ontario
"I thoroughly enjoyed the online format because it allowed me the freedom to do the modules at a time of my choosing. I thought the readings were thought provoking and the assignments were helpful to the expansion of my knowledge base."
Flora Teng, MD, BSc, MPH, UBC Obstetrics and Gynaecology Postgraduate Year 1, UBC CFMS Global Health Liaison 2006-2007