Introduction Military surgery requires skills that in general cannot be easily learnt in civilian training. Participation in a fellowship abroad adapted to the particular operating conditions of the foreign deployment is one route that might secure the necessary supplementary training. We therefore assessed the relevance of such a fellowship in the preparedness of young military surgeons in their first deployment.
Methods This study included all active military surgeons who had completed a fellowship abroad during their initial training from 2004 to 2017 in Tchad or Senegal or Djibouti. The collection of data was performed using a questionnaire. The main judgement criterion was the rate of positive answers awarded to the relevance of this fellowship in the preparedness of respondents’ first foreign deployment.
Results Sixty-nine of 73 surgeons answered. Sixty-one estimated the fellowship had allowed them to feel more operational during their first mission, with 83.61% rating this feeling as important. Also, 61 recommended the use of a fellowship for war surgery training. The grade assigned to the surgical benefit was 8.48/10.
Conclusion A fellowship abroad permits one to become familiar with surgical practice under austere circumstances and the particularities of the surgical structures at the front. Current trainees’ feedback confirms its relevance.
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Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement No data are available.
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