Medical Students in Global Neurosurgery: Rationale and Role


  • Yvan Zolo Association of Future African Neurosurgeons
  • Rosaline de Koning University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division, Oxford, United Kingdom.
  • Ahmad Ozair Faculty of Medicine, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, India.
  • Irena Zivkovic School of Medicine, University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine.
  • Milagros Niquen-Jimenez Facultad de Medicina Humana Alberto Hurtado, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
  • Clémentine K. Affana All Saints University School of Medicine, Roseau, Dominica.
  • Leslie Jogo Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Ngaoundéré, Garoua, Cameroon.
  • Gobti Beltus Abongha Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Bamenda, Bambili, Cameroon.
  • Nathan Shlobin Department of Neurological Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA


Global health, global neurosurgery, global surgery, health disparities, health equity, medical education, medical students


Approximately 5 million essential neurosurgical cases are unmet each year, all in low- and middle-income countries (1). After the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery described the absence of global surgery from global health discourse in January 2014 (2), the field of neurosurgery quickly recognized the importance of increasing equity in care globally (3-5). Although existing initiatives in global neurosurgery have focused on neurosurgeons and trainees, medical students represent a promising group for sustainable long-term engagement. We characterize why medical students are fundamental to success, outline the importance of incorporating medical students, and delineate how to increase medical student interest and participation in global neurosurgery.