Safe surgery and anesthesia is a crucial health issue around the world: in 2010, an estimated 17 million people died because of lack of access to this care.1
To help address this issue and foster learning and development for anesthesiologists working in less affluent countries, Baxter and the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) founded an innovative scholarship program (the WFSA Baxter Scholarship Program), to enable young anesthesiologists to attend world and regional congresses where they can learn the latest techniques and build key relationships with other leaders in the field of anesthesia.
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the WFSA Baxter Scholarship program, which has benefited 165 young anesthesiologists from more than 60 countries, many of whom have gone on to educate colleagues at home, which in turn directly impacts patients.
“If you think about it, even conservatively, if each of those doctors is going on to treat 1,000 patients a year, the impact already is 160,000 patents a year who are receiving safer care,” said Julian Gore-Booth, CEO of WFSA. “But the impact is probably over a million patients a year who are benefiting either directly or indirectly from this investment, this program.”
Although the scholarship program was designed with the idea to provide learning opportunities, a significant secondary benefit has emerged: scholars can connect with a network of past recipients to foster professional relationships.
“This is a unique opportunity for young people from less-affluent countries to communicate with professionals from Western, modern, highly developed and well-equipped parts of the world and present their own work, network together and build networks for the future,” said Dr. Miodrag Milenovic, one of the first WFSA Baxter Scholarship award winners, who currently serves as Head of Anaesthesiology in OR, Clinical Center of Serbia Center for Anaesthesiology and Resuscitation. “There are a huge number of people that lack basic medical healthcare and if it’s possible we should do more to … use that network to open the eyes of people that can help.”
For more information about the WFSA Baxter Scholarship program, visit: https://www.wfsahq.org/baxter-scholars.
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1Shrime MG, Bickler SW, Alkire BC, Mock C. Global burden of surgical disease: an estimation from the provider perspective. Lancet Glob Health. 2015;3 Suppl 2:S8-9.