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University of Cincinnati Global Surgery Rotation

Global Surgery Program article UC News Article on Global Surgery Program

Malawi is known as the warm heart of Africa

Maps of Malawi

  • Third poorest country in the world.
  • Most of the population live in rural mud huts in thatched roof villages with no running water or electricity.
  • 40% of the gross national product is agriculture, 90% of the country’s export earnings.
  • 80% is grown on small family farms.

Where there is no surgeon….

  • In many places of the world, there is minimal access to health care.
  • Malawi has 0.018 physicians/1000 ... USA has 2.5/1000.
  • Surgical diseases make up 30% of the global disease burden.
  • Access to surgical services is nonexistent in many areas of Malawi.


  • That all in Malawi may have access to quality surgical care.


  • To enhance surgical care and capacity in Malawi by utilizing senior U.S. surgical residents and consultants to support the infrastructure in place at Mzuzu Central Hospital.
  • To provide shared learning experiences and unparalleled educational opportunities in an austere environment.
  • To inspire a transformative approach to global health.

Core values

  • Excellence in clinical services provided.
  • Respect for colleagues and staff at all levels.
  • Compassion for patients and their families.
  • Advocacy for those who are dedicated to improving healthcare in Malawi.

The University of Cincinnati Global Surgery Program offers an 8-week elective General Surgery Rotation at Mzuzu Central Hospital in Malawi, Africa.


Mzuzu Central Hospital is the Central Hospital and referral center in the Northern region of Malawi serving a catchment area of approximately 2.5 million people. We currently have a full-time faculty member on the ground for 12 months of the year, along with a rotating senior resident. During their 8-week rotation, residents participate on rounds, run outpatient clinics, and perform basic and complex general and pediatric surgery cases throughout their time at Mzuzu Central Hospital.

The presence of University of Cincinnati’s faculty surgeon and resident currently double the number of surgeons in the entire region, and thereby provides expertise and life-saving surgery for this population in need.

malawian-clinical-officer-in-trainingDr. Jocelyn Logan operates with Dr. Carey Watson (4th year surgical resident) and a Malawian Clinical Officer in training.


In addition to the clinical services provided, University of Cincinnati staff and residents actively participate in educational programs for the Malawian clinical officers and nursing students in every aspect of patient care. Currently we participate in the training of 9 Malawian student surgery clinical officers who, upon completion of their training, will travel to more rural district hospitals to perform basic elective and emergency surgeries.

morning-teaching-rounds-with-dr.-charles-parkMedical students, nursing students, clinical officers gather for morning teaching rounds with Dr. Charles Park, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Supervisor for the Global Surgery Rotation.

malawian-clinical-trainingDr. Charles Park, reviews the anatomy of the inguinal hernia with the Malawian clinical officer in training and a Sudanese medical student.

dr-dupreeDr. Phylicia Dupree (4th year surgery resident) works with Mr. Franicis Masoo (Head Nurse Anesthetist) and a clinical officer student prepare an infant with a ruptured omphalocele for surgery.


Our program emphasizes a bidirectional partnership with our host-institution to ensure that in exchange for an unparalleled educational experience in General Surgery, we are able to provide and enhance much-needed surgical services consistently over time, while also providing educational opportunities for nurses, staff, and trainees. Residents perform over 100 operations in a 2 month period of time, including a plethora of pediatric, gastrointestinal, urology, endoscopic, and head and neck cases.

mzuzuDr. Young Kim with a pediatric patient.

The rotation allows our General Surgery residents to evaluate, diagnose, and surgically treat both basic and complex surgical diseases in an austere environment, without the use of CAT scanners or other advanced technologies widely available in the United States.  While working with our partners in Mzuzu Central Hospital, we learn to do surgery in a more efficient and adaptable way, also learning to treat tropical diseases not seen as often in the United States.

Through advocacy, service, education, we are able to support our friends who provide the best surgical care they are able to, under very difficult circumstances, with the knowledge that without them there would be no surgical service available at all.

Drs. Logan and Jernigan with staff

Nkhata BayNkhata Bay.


The Global Surgery Program requires significant financial investment to cover program, housing, and travel expenses. To help make our program sustainable, please donate now.

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Jeffrey J. Sussman, MD
General Surgery Residency Director

Gilda B. Young
General Surgery Residency Coordinator
Phone: 513-558-4206

Debbie Browne
General Surgery Residency Assistant Coordinator
Phone: 513-558-5862

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University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0558

Mail Location: 0558
Department: 513-558-4748
Education: 513-558-4206