Global Surgery Initiative

Surgeons performing surgery in Rwanda

Project Details

The Global Surgery Initiative seeks to stimulate partnerships, education, and academic growth in the field of global surgery. GSI is focused primarily on medical residents following the Global Health Leadership Track in Surgery.  The Global Health Leadership Track in Surgery is open to all interested surgery residents, with applications accepted normally during the 2nd clinical year of training.  The commitment includes a curriculum component (GME certificate in public health or masters, international rounds and dinners with other GHLT programs), international rotation, and scholarly presentation.

GSI seeks to prepare surgeons to become leaders in global health practice, research, policy, education, and training by developing an appreciation of the challenges involved in the delivery of international surgical education, training, and care.  

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Project History

UVA acute care and trauma surgeon Dr. Forrest Calland and surgical resident Dr. Robin Petroze first traveled to Rwanda in October 2009 at the invitation of the Ministry of Health to explore ways in which the Department of Surgery at UVA could partner with Rwandan surgeons to improve training and research. Dr. Petroze then moved to Rwanda for two years as a Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellow to research the burden of surgical disease and advocate with local health officials and surgeons for improved surgical delivery.

In August of 2012, the Rwandan government announced the start of an innovative partnership—The Human Resources for Health (HRH) plan—with the US government and 13 U.S. medical, nursing, and public health schools to expand training opportunities in Rwanda. Dr. Calland has spearheaded the involvement of the UVA School of Medicine in the HRH program, and over the next seven years, UVA will recruit and mentor up to four surgeons and two anesthesiologists to relocate to Rwanda for a year to train Rwandan physicians.


The Global Surgery Initiative works closely with university referral hospitals in the Kigali area.