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January 1, 2008

International Surgical ElectivesReflections in Ethics

Arch Surg. 2008;143(1):10-11. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2007.3

The practice of resident trainees performing surgical electives in developing countries is gaining in popularity.1,2 In many instances, trainees are able to provide medical care to underserved regions while gaining valuable experience. The global health inequity is such that many patients have minimal access to quality surgical treatment and resident trainees can help fill this void. However, this inequity also brings with it an inequitable distribution of medical ethics challenges.3 During my fifth year of my ophthalmology residency, I went to such a country in Africa for a 9-week surgical elective.

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