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BACKGROUND: The principles of global surgery should be taught as a part of the core curriculum in medical schools. The need for medical students to be familiar with the topic is increasing in acceptance. There is, however, a paucity of data on how medical students are exposed to global surgery. This study aims to evaluate exposure of medical students to global surgery, awareness of the key messages of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, global surgery career aspirations and barriers to said aspirations. METHODS: ISOMERS was a multi-centre, online, cross-sectional survey of final year medical students globally. The questionnaire utilised a combination of Likert-scale, multiple-choice, and free text questions. RESULTS: In this study, 1593 final year medical students from 144 medical schools in 20 countries participated. The majority (n = 869/1496, 58.1%) believed global surgery to be relevant, despite 17.7% (n = 271/1535) having any exposure to global surgery. Most participants (n = 1187/1476, 80.4%) wanted additional resources on global surgery. Difficulty in providing appropriate care for patients living abroad (n = 854/1242, 68.8%) was the most common perceived barrier to a career in global surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Participants believed global surgery was a relevant topic for medical students and wanted additional resources that they could access on global surgery. It is critical for medical students to become aware that global surgery is a field that aims to address inequity in surgical care not just internationally, but nationally and locally as well.

Original publication




Journal article


World J Surg

Publication Date





1577 - 1584


Career Choice, Cross-Sectional Studies, Curriculum, Humans, Schools, Medical, Students, Medical, Surveys and Questionnaires