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.
Data availability statement
No data are available.
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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.