Branch for International Surgical Care

The Branch for International Surgical Care was created to advance surgical care in international health. It came about as a desire to build on the national interest in surgical care in international health and the realization of the strength of international activity that already exists among “surgical” members of the UBC faculty.

The Branch comprises faculty members from six surgery-related Departments, including Surgery, Orthopaedics, Anaesthesia, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Urology and Ophthalmology.

The Branch believes the best way to make sustainable improvements in the delivery of surgical care in the world’s most disadvantaged countries is to build capacity within the field of surgery on the provision of care in low-resource settings. To achieve this, the Branch launched an innovative educational program in 2009.


Online Graduate Certificate Program

The Graduate Certificate in Global Surgical Care (GCGSC) is designed to meet the growing need for professional development of students interested in focusing on the global health problem of the burden of unmet surgical care. The Certificate is comprised of four graduate level online courses. Students with an interest in Global Surgical Care but who do not wish to complete the GCGSC can enroll in any of the graduate courses independent of the certificate.

The program is intended for surgical care clinicians, trainees in surgical care disciplines, allied health care professionals or trainees involved, or who wish to be involved, in global surgical care programs.

The courses are targeted to graduate level students, postgraduate trainees, surgeons or surgery-related health practitioners. Non-medical graduate students or others may register with permission from the Instructor.

The courses are delivered entirely online (no classes on campus or summer residences). They are designed to allow practicing health professionals to continue their studies with minimal disruption to their work.


SURG 510 – Surgical care in International Health

Students will examine the historical beginnings, the reasons for the emergence of surgical care in the public health agenda and the details of the global burden of surgical care need. They will explore the wide spectrum of volunteerism, ethics related to clinical care and research, guidelines for activity (projects, programs, partnerships) and the role of advocacy in global surgical care.

SURG 512 – Global Disability: A Surgical Care Mandate

Students will critique current models of addressing the fact that globally, one billion people live with a disability of whom 80% live in resource-limited settings which further compounds the family and public burden and discuss frameworks for moving forward.

SURG 514 – Surgical Care in Humanitarian Disaster Response

Students will examine the current status of global activity by national and international responders to both natural and conflict-related humanitarian disasters with particular emphasis on the role of surgical care.

SPPH 540 – Program Planning and Evaluation with a surgical care focus

Students will become literate and functionally competent in program planning and evaluation. The course involves developing a program plan and an evaluation proposal for a public health program, particularly as it relates to global surgical care initiatives.


For more detailed information about the Branch click here:

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