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Bringing Laparoscopy to Haiti: A Pilot Program
Objective: To create a collaborative and sustained partnership between Physicians for Haiti, Stony Brook University Hospital and the gynecology department at Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM) in Haiti to provide continued medical education on laparoscopic surgery.
Methods: The gynecology department at HUM identified a need for learning minimally invasive surgical techniques for improved patient care. Eleven Haitian OBGYN physicians were enrolled in a one week didactic and simulation-based laparoscopy pilot workshop. Participants were given a knowledge assessment before and after the course. The learners attended eight hours of lecture, integrated with six hours of simulation training.
Results: All eleven participants stated that their knowledge of laparoscopy prior to the workshop was “poor” but were “very interested” in increased training. 82% reported having observed at least one laparoscopic case, but only 18% reported assisting in any of those procedures. The average knowledge evaluation before training was 44.6% and upon completion was 75.9%. Most providers identified diagnostic laparoscopy and tubal sterilization as the initial surgeries that would be most beneficial for clinical training.
Conclusion: This collaborative pilot workshop demonstrates that while baseline knowledge of laparoscopy is limited in this setting, improvement in knowledge over the one-week training was attainable. This multi-year educational collaboration will subsequently include additional teaching, simulation and subsequent mentorship for clinical integration of newly acquired skills. This pilot demonstrates foundational training for a sustained collaboration to provide fundamental knowledge and experience in laparoscopic gynecologic surgery in a tertiary care center in rural Haiti.
GME, Global Health, Minimally Invasive Surgery, General Ob-Gyn,