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Collaboration between the McMaster University Global Health Office and Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Anesthesia, and Surgery

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2019 Fall Seminar

Nov 4, 2019, 16:49 PM by David Oldenburger

Full Story: 2nd Annual MacGlObAS Seminar "Global Surgery in Context" Oct 26/19

The second annual MacGlObAS Seminar “Global Surgery in Context” took place Saturday October 26 at St. Joseph’s hospital, with over 40 participants. 

MacGlobas_2019 (9 of 38)Coinciding with the McMaster School of Medicine’s 50th Anniversary activities, MacGlObAS welcomed Dr. Stephen Foster (image right), a graduate of the medical school’s inaugural class, and medical and general director of the Centro Evangélico de Medicina do Lubango (CEML), Angola, as the event’s keynote speaker. Dr. Foster started off the morning with a presentation of his experience developing and training clinicians in Angola, over the past thirty years. He presented a vivid picture of the many challenges experienced working in low-resource settings, including conflict, political instability, natural disasters, as well as highlighting many joys he has seen with the growth of CEML, collaborating with clinician training programs, and being able to provide high quality care to the citizens of Angola.

MacGlobas_2019 (7 of 38)Following his presentation, Dr. Mark Osmond, a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist from McMaster, chaired a panel to discuss how to promote collaboration in post-graduate training, with specific case examples presented to the panelists (image left: left to write): Dr. Caitlin VanDeCappelle (Anesthesia PGY5), Dr. Stephen Foster, and Dr. Carlos Martin (International Fellow in Vascular Surgery). 

The next presenter, Dr. Amy Montour (image left), faculty in the Department of FamMacGlobas_2019 (34 of 38)ily Medicine discussed how clinicians can provide culturally sensitive care in indigenous populations; as a member of a First Nation community and trained physician with an compelling story of resilience, she identified some of the trauma experienced and ongoing health inequities faced by indigenous populations across Canada. From this perspective, she challenged attendees to reflect on how these experiences impact the perceptions of indigenous communities towards health providers, but inspired them to work toward a health care system and society that addresses these issues, and helps bring change by empowering its indigenous communities.

The afternoon’s final presenter, Dr. Nicholas Comninellis (image below), from the Institute for International Medicine (INMED) discussed challenges that clinicians face working in the global surgical context that includes low-resources settings, where people are poor, undereducated, minorities, disabled, elderly, refugees, and victims of war and disaster.

MacGlobas_2019 (27 of 38)He also described the inspiration for founding INMED to provide training to clinicians and the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and tools to manage such challenges as cross-cultural barriers, unfamiliar diseases and limited resources. 

The final presenters were brought together for a panel discussion on Sustainable Global Surgical Practice, with case-studies presented by Dr. Brian Cameron to three panelists: Dr. Nicholas Comninellis, Dr. Amy Montour, and Dr. Ronald Kabuye (International Fellow in Thoracic Surgery). The event was concluded with a presentation of the “Every Day Hero” award to Dr. Stephen Foster, by Dr. Brian Cameron on behalf of the Department of Surgery.

Watch the full length presentation here.


Global Surgery is "an area of study, research, practice, and advocacy, that seeks to improve health outcomes and achieve health equity for all people who need surgical and anesthesia care, with a special emphasis on underserved populations and populations in crisis. It uses collaborative, cross-sectoral, and transnational approaches and is a synthesis of population-based strategies with individual surgical and anesthesia care"

- Dare, et al., 2014, The Lancet, 384(9961), 2245-2247.



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