Historically, the global public health discourse has largely omitted surgical care from its list of priorities. However, conditions amenable to surgical treatment such as injuries, cancer, congenital anomalies and complications from childbirth comprise a significant and growing proportion of global death and disability. In addition, research done over the last several decades has highlighted the essential role of surgical care in horizontal health systems strengthening and health augmentation in resource-poor settings. Despite these findings, however, the provision of surgical services remains unequally distributed around the world: the poorest third of the population receive less than 4% of the world’s available surgical services, while the richest third receive nearly 75%. The effects of lack of surgical care can extend far beyond health status, crippling advances in development and economic enhancement. Given the significant burden of surgical disease and the devastating impact lack of treatment can cause, surgery can no longer be considered a privilege for
Surgeons associated with Harvard teaching hospitals, in conjunction with Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), Partners In Health (PIH), and the Program in Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC) at Harvard Medical School are addressing the need for a surgical role in global health through the Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship. In this fellowship, dedicated surgeons are able to obtain the medical and non-medical skills they need to improve the health of some of the world's most impoverished people.
The Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship is a one or two year program designed for medical professionals who have either already completed their surgical residency or are taking a scheduled break from formal training to conduct research. Please click on the links below for additional information about the two available tracks within the Fellowship:
Paul Farmer Global Surgery Clinical Fellowship
Paul Farmer Global Surgery Research Fellowship
Paul Farmer Global Surgery Research Associate
Interested fellows in either track may incorporate a Masters of Public Health degree during their fellowship, but this option is not compulsory. The MPH degree can be started through the Summer Program in Clinical Effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health. Obtaining an MPH will require a separate application to the Harvard School of Public Health (see Application Instructions). Tuition and fees associated with matriculation in the MPH program will be the responsibility of the Fellow unless otherwise specified.
Any questions regarding the Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship should be directed to:
For Medical Students:
There are multiple avenues for medical students who are interested in taking a year away from their formal studies to be involved with our work. Please contact GlobalSurgery@childrens.harvard.edu for more information.