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Evaluation of a fellowship abroad as part of the initial training of the French military surgeon
  1. Camille Choufani1,
  2. O Barbier2,
  3. T Demoures1,
  4. L Mathieu3 and
  5. S Rigal4
  1. 1 Orthopaedic Surgery, Military Training Hospital Begin, Saint Mande, France
  2. 2 Orthopedic and Traumatology, Hopital d'Instruction des Armees Begin, Saint Mande, France
  3. 3 Department of Orthopaedic, Trauma and Reconstructive Surgery, HIA Percy, Clamart, France
  4. 4 Department of Traumatology and Orthopedics, HIA Percy, Clamart, France
  1. Correspondence to Camille Choufani, orthopaedic surgery, Military Training Hospital Begin, Saint Mande 94160, France; choufanicamille{at}


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.

  • training
  • surgery
  • military
  • fellowship

Data availability statement

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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.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.