Scientific Quality

Free Knowledge for Surgeons Worldwide

Zurich (CH), December 2022 - Videos used to train local surgeons at the University Hospital Zurich have been viewed on YouTube by over 600,000 people. This huge success has now led to the establishment of the Global School of Surgery online platform, which will offer an international audience free access to the surgical curriculum from 2023. The aim is to improve the education and training of young surgeons, especially in structurally weak countries.

The online curriculum with 120 videos covers the entire field of general surgery and transplant surgery. All contributions were prepared by surgical residents of USZ and presented as part of the in-house training courses.

The YouTube continuing education program is designed to provide local surgical education and training and to improve the presentation skills of the surgical residents. In order to ensure a high level of professional and scientific quality, they are always guided by experienced surgeons. The lecturers are offered additional communication training prior to their presentation. The presentations highlight the latest scientific findings in 20 minutes on the respective topic and follow a uniform concept:

  •             a 20-minute presentation in English
  •             several interactive audience questions during the lecture
  •             a concluding discussion moderated by an expert

The videos have now been viewed by over 600,000 people, making them an unexpectedly huge global success. An online survey of more than 700 physicians and medical students from more than 100 countries showed that the high scientific level of the lectures is particularly appreciated, but the convenient and free availability of the lectures is, too. The results of the survey were recently published in the renowned surgical journal Annals of Surgery.

The positive response to the eLearning offering led the Department of Visceral Surgery and Transplantation to continue along the chosen path. "I am very pleased to announce the establishment of the Global School of Surgery at the beginning of 2023," says Prof. Pierre-Alain Clavien, Director of the Department of Visceral Surgery and Transplantation at USZ. "The portal will provide an international audience with free access to a carefully curated surgical video curriculum." The European Surgical Association (ESA), one of the leading international societies for surgery, will be the patron of this ambitious project.

Prof. Christian A. Gutschow is also involved in setting up the Global School of Surgery. The Senior Attending Physician at USZ is convinced that the online offering can offer great opportunities for structurally weak countries - those without their own training infrastructure. He observed, "The Global School of Surgery has the potential to sustainably improve the quality of surgical education around the world."