Global Surgery Program

Dominican Republic

  • Established in 2005
  • Mandatory one-month rotation
  • All PGY-3
  • In 2015, switched location to a public hospital with a surgical residency.
  • Incorporate US residents into DR residency
  • Supervisor is the local Residency Program Director
  • Exchange program: 2 Dominican residents rotate to Mount Sinai per year
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The Kyabirwa Surgical Facility in Uganda

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More than 5 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe or affordable surgical care. That lack of care is responsible for upwards of 17 million deaths per year, meaning nearly 30 percent of the world’s population will die from diseases that are surgically correctible.   Often, the most commonly cited reasons for not providing surgical care to underserved areas is cost and ease of operations; the practice of surgery and organization of providing surgical services is seen as too expensive and complicated to undertake.

The Mount Sinai Global Surgery Team, part of the Department of Surgery at Mount Sinai, is directly challenging those misconceptions by building the Kyabirwa Surgical Facility (KSF), a first-of-its-kind ambulatory surgical facility in Kyabirwa, Uganda. The surgical care provided at the KSF will completely reshape how Kyabirwa residents and those in neighboring villages receive health care.

Research shows that 60 percent of all surgery done in the United States is ambulatory. Conversely, more than 80 percent of surgical costs are spent on in-patient procedures; the more complicated surgeries that require more refined surgical skills, equipment, and facilities. Considering this data, the primary focus of the KSF will be to provide outpatient surgeries to the deeply underserved Kyabirwa community, where even the simplest of operations are not available. Initial surgical procedures available at KSF will include: hernia repair, appendectomy, breast disorder surgery, thyroid surgery, cataract removal, colonoscopy, wound management, burn treatment, oral surgery, circumcisions, hemorrhoid removal, abscess drainage, and biopsy of cancers. All of these operations can safely and effectively alter and preserve life. Over time, as experience, support and funding opportunities grow, surgical offerings may be expanded to include more complex procedures.

The KSF is a scalable prototype that has the potential to shift the paradigm for providing international surgical care. The self-sustaining structure has its own water and power sources, and will act as a major employer in the community it serves, being staffed by Ugandan surgeons supported by on-site teams from Mount Sinai.

Digital interface between KSF and the campuses of the Mount Sinai Health System will be an integral feature of the partnership. This technology will allow virtual, international interaction between surgeons and staff for pre-surgical evaluations, intraoperative consultations, real-time evaluation of ongoing surgical therapy, and assistance in the management of complications.