Global Surgery and Disparities Program

global surgery

The University of Minnesota Global Surgery and Disparities (UMGSD) Program was established to improve the surgical and anesthesia care in underserved areas, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).  Our vision is to train the next generation of academic global surgery leaders. 

To achieve this goal, the UMGSD academic program has four main objectives:

  1. Clinical Care: Surgeons from high-income countries frequently provide clinical care in LMICs. Ideally, such activity will lead to a better understanding of the region-specific barriers to effective clinical care and to long-term strategies to overcome such barriers. Additionally, participation in clinical care may enhance the effectiveness of other objectives.
  2. Capacity Building: The Lancet Commission estimates that an additional 1.27 million surgeons, anesthesiologists, and obstetricians, are needed by 2030 to provide safe and affordable surgical care. Presently, faculty at the University of Minnesota are working to increase the absolute size of the workforce and the skill of the existing workforce in Asia, Africa, and Central America.
  3. Education/Training: Interest in global surgery has been sparked by medical students and surgery residents in the United States. The UMSGD provides opportunities for interested students and surgical residents to participate in activities in resource-limited regions in LMICs and the United States. Additionally, global surgery fellowships (1 or 2 years) are available through the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility and the Fogarty Institute. Our vision is to train the next generation of academic global surgery leaders. 
  4. Research: Investigators at the University of Minnesota have built partnerships with local investigators to enhance much needed research activity in LMICs and Native American populations. 

Global Surgery Journal Club

The Global Surgery Journal Club is a new resident-run, monthly meeting of students, residents and faculty reviewing current and landmark literature in the emerging field of Global Surgery. Anyone is welcome, small refreshments provided. Location is TBD per month. Please contact Kelsey Stewart at for the monthly invitation with article to be reviewed.

Global Surgery Journal Club

Next time & date to come.


kumar belaniDr. Kumar Belani, Professor of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Minnesota, has been appointed Dean for International Affairs of the Indian College Of Anesthesiologists. Dr. Belani has been involved with IMER (International Medical Education and Research) since its inception in 1999. He has served and is serving as the coordinator for medical students with their India rotations. They have several collaborative agreements in Bengaluru, Manipal and Coimbatore. Almost all the students have had great learning experiences during their electives abroad in India.

Upcoming Events

February 8-15, 2020: Honduras surgical oncology trip

February 13-14, 2020: Breast Cancer Education Event, Honduras


The Goodhue Scholarship
The Justin Goodhue Scholarship was initiated in 2010 to provide funding for University of Minnesota general surgery residents to participate in global surgery activities. Dr. Goodhue was an exceptional 4th year general surgery resident at the University of Minnesota and in 2009 spent a week in Honduras providing surgical care for the poor. Justin described this experience as the single most important event of his medical career. Sadly, Justin died six months later from unknown causes. His family, friends, and surgical colleagues and faculty raised funds for a scholarship in his name to fund similar experiences for general surgery residents. To date, more than 20 general surgery residents at the University of Minnesota have received scholarships from the Justin Goodhue Scholarship program.

The Scheffler Scholarship
Russell Scheffler was an energetic young man who was diagnosed with metastatic appendiceal carcinoma. During his treatment and frequent hospitalizations, Russ was very engaged with the medical students rotating on the Surgical Oncology service.  Medical students would spend hours talking with Russ about medicine, family, and friends. Russ even attended the students’ case presentations at weekly teaching conferences. After Russ died, his wife Kathy raised funds for a scholarship intended for medical students to participate in global surgery activities. To date, more than 20 medical students at the University of Minnesota have received scholarships through the Russell and Kathy Scheffler Scholarship program.