International neurosurgical volunteerism: a temporal, geographic, and thematic analysis of foundation for international education in neurological surgery volunteer reports

World Neurosurg. 2014 Dec;82(6):963-8. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2014.07.040. Epub 2014 Aug 1.


Objective: To examine the experiences of volunteers of the Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery.

Methods: A qualitative analysis of >150 volunteer reports from 2004-2013 was performed using grounded theory. Various themes were explored based on their occurrence in the reports.

Results: Volunteer reports of extended trips appeared to peak in 2009, with a heavy emphasis on activity in Africa. Prominent themes in the reports included volunteer contributions, successful strategies, challenges, and future directions.

Conclusions: Volunteers demonstrated wide-ranging contributions. Successful strategies included continuity and collaboration with other organizations. Challenges were overwhelmingly related to equipment or infrastructure. Common suggestions for future directions included institutional collaboration and subspecialty development.

Keywords: International; Neurosurgery; Nongovernmental organization; Volunteer.

MeSH terms

  • Foundations / organization & administration
  • Foundations / statistics & numerical data*
  • International Cooperation
  • Neurosurgery / education*
  • Neurosurgery / statistics & numerical data*
  • Volunteers / statistics & numerical data*