Global neurosurgery: innovators, strategies, and the way forward

J Neurosurg. 2019 Oct 1;131(4):993-999. doi: 10.3171/2019.4.JNS181747.


Around the world today, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have not benefited from advancements in neurosurgery; most have minimal or even no neurosurgical capacity in their entire country. In this paper, the authors examine in broad strokes the different ways in which individuals, organizations, and universities engage in global neurosurgery to address the global challenges faced in many LMICs. Key strategies include surgical camps, educational programs, training programs, health system strengthening projects, health policy changes/development, and advocacy. Global neurosurgery has begun coalescing with large strides taken to develop a coherent voice for this work. This large-scale collaboration via multilateral, multinational engagement is the only true solution to the issues we face in global neurosurgery. Key players have begun to come together toward this ultimate solution, and the future of global neurosurgery is bright.

Keywords: DGNN = Duke Global Neurosurgery and Neurology; FIENS = Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery; GNI = Global Neurosurgery Initiative; LMICs = low- and middle-income countries; NGO = nongovernmental organization; PGSSC = Program in Global Surgery and Social Change; WFNS = World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies; global neurosurgery; global surgery; health system strengthening.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Neurosurgery / organization & administration*