RCSI to provide vital mentorship in global challenge aimed at providing low-cost surgical training

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A team from across RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences will lead a mentorship programme for teams participating in a €5m Global Surgical Training Challenge.

The Challenge aims to stimulate the creation of novel, low-cost surgical training modules that will help surgical practitioners to learn new skills to improve the health of their communities.

Ten teams have been successful in obtaining the initial round of Discovery Award grants. These teams will develop and test their prototype surgical modules throughout 2021. 

Three to five teams will be selected to receive Finalist Award grants and will continue to further develop their prototypes in 2022, after which the $1m Grand Prize will be awarded.

The mentorship programme is led by the RCSI Institute of Global Surgery (IGS) in collaboration with RCSI’s Centre for Simulation Education and Research (RCSI SIM). Eric O'Flynn from IGS and Dr Claire Condron from RCSI SIM will helm the mentorship team.

Professor Mark Shrime, O’Brien Chair of Global Surgery at RCSI, said: “Our approach to this mentorship programme is informed by our broad experience of designing and managing mentorship programmes in Ireland and worldwide, including working with COSECSA and Women in Surgery Africa to establish a mentorship programme for young female surgeons and surgical trainees in Africa. We will support the challenge participants not just in delivering high-impact training projects, but also in promoting simulation as a way of delivering sustainable surgical training in low-resource contexts.”

Professor Walter Eppich, Chair in Simulation at RCSI, said: “RCSI’s selection for this mentoring role epitomises not only our extensive experience in surgical training, education and research partnerships in Africa, but also our world-leading capacity in simulation education and research. This project exemplifies the synergies harnessed through cross-institutional collaboration by a university intently focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

RCSI is an innovative, world-leading international health sciences university with a commitment to global surgery as a core pillar of its strategy. The university was ranked the number one academic institution in the world for contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 3 ‘Good Health and Wellbeing’ in the 2020 Times Higher Education Impact rankings. 

The Global Surgical Training Challenge is funded by the Intuitive Foundation, and RCSI joins other Challenge partners MIT Solve and Nesta Challenges.