Assisted Education for Specialized Medicine: A Sustainable Development Plan for Neurosurgery in Myanmar.

Schucht, Philippe; Zubak, Irena; Kuhlen, Dominique; Abu-Isa, Janine; Murek, Michael; Raabe, Andreas; Soe, Zaw Wai; Aung, Kyawzwa; Soe Myint, Aung Thu; Thu, Myat (2019). Assisted Education for Specialized Medicine: A Sustainable Development Plan for Neurosurgery in Myanmar. World neurosurgery, 130, e854-e861. Elsevier 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.07.018

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With only 4 active certified neurosurgeons for a population of 50 million, neurosurgical care was seriously underdeveloped in Myanmar in 2012. Together with the local neurosurgical community, Swiss Neurosurgeons International started a program of assisted education with the aim of increasing the neurosurgical capacity to 60 active neurosurgeons by 2023.


Our program included a fully sponsored fellowship at an academic hospital in Switzerland for every Myanmar neurosurgeon in training to observe contemporary neurosurgery and the organization of regular workshops, lectures, and educational surgeries in Myanmar. Halfway through the program, we performed a survey to assess its benefits and shortcomings.


In 2019, the number of active neurosurgeons in Myanmar had increased to 20, with 50 more in training. Intracranial pressure monitoring, cervical spine surgery, transsphenoidal surgery, and intraoperative electrophysiology have become established procedures. Our survey showed an increased interest by the residents in tumor and vascular surgery and a new interest in spinal surgery. The overall rating of the fellowship was "very good," with language barriers, cultural differences, and coping with inclement weather reported as the greatest difficulties.


Since the start of our project in 2013, a series of contemporary neurosurgical technologies and procedures have been introduced to Myanmar with the help of Swiss Neurosurgeons International. Our survey results have shown the strong points of the ongoing educational program and the weaknesses to be addressed. Midway through our 10-year project, with an expanded and improved education program, our goal of 60 active neurosurgeons in Myanmar by 2023 seems well within reach.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurosurgery

UniBE Contributor:

Schucht, Philippe, Zubak, Irena, Abu-Isa, Janine, Murek, Michael, Raabe, Andreas


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Nicole Söll

Date Deposited:

27 Aug 2019 10:13

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:32

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Developmental help Myanmar Neurosurgical education




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