We Call for A Global Curriculum to Address Gaps and Inadequacies in Training
The Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) and the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO) highlight in two jointly published reports the global variations in training and make the case for a streamlined global surgical oncology curriculum of uniform standards. It is envisioned that the application of this minimum uniform standards of training will create a robust workforce of well-trained surgical oncologists to meet the growing need resulting from the rising global cancer burden.
The two surgical oncology societies together published their findings on global variations in training and recommendations for a global curriculum in the issues of both the European Journal of Surgical Oncology and the Annals of Surgical Oncology. The companion articles can be found at:
European Journal of Surgical Oncology:
Annals of Surgical Oncology:
Variations in Training of Surgical Oncologists: Proposal for a Global Curriculum
The global curriculum incorporates essential standards derived from each Society’s curriculum to provide a uniform scaffolding of minimum standards that can help to tackle the significant variations in training from region to region throughout the world as identified by Are, et.al. in Variations In Training of Surgical Oncologists: Proposal for a Global Curriculum.
“As a Committee, we agreed that the curriculum should be constructed in a modular fashion to permit flexibility to suit the needs of the different regions of the world with their inherently diverse sociocultural, financial and cultural differences,” said Dr. R. Audisio (current Editor in Chief of EJSO and former President of ESSO). “We also recognize that the curriculum is aspirational and not mandatory in intent.”
The Committee noted several concerning trends the global curriculum hopes to combat:
- Total surgical training length varied between 8 and 17 years, depending on the country.
- Several countries do not have the capability to offer surgical oncology fellowship training programs.
- Several countries do not offer domestic surgical oncology fellowships yet still consider such training a requirement.
- There is a wide variability in the location of foreign countries that physicians travel to in order to obtain required training.
- There are no structured pathways to integrate the knowledge acquired abroad into the native health and medical systems.
It is these gaps that led us to call for a common global curriculum of minimum and uniform standards to tackle the rising global cancer burden.
“The obligation to confront what was learned from this study falls on every individual within every surgical oncology organisation, and no one can serve this role better than those societies that possess the needed academic and financial resources,” said Daniel G. Coit, MD, SSO President, Attending Surgeon, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Professor of Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College.
Members of the SSO/ESSO Joint Global Curriculum Committee included:
Chandrakanth Are, MD, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Neb. (SSO);
Riccardo A. Audisio, MD, University of Liverpool, St. Helens, U.K. (ESSO);
Russell S. Berman, MD, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY (SSO);
Lynda Wyld, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK (ESSO);
Charmaine Cummings, RN, Society of Surgical Oncology, Rosemont, Ill. (SSO);
Carine Lecoq (ESSO).