What does it take to have a PAACS program at your hospital?
We are often asked that and sadly, it is not as easy as one might hope. But if God is in it, all things are possible. To help you in the process, our experience has shown that several things are indispensable.
You will need the following to start the program:
Three surgeons (at a minimum) who will be the surgical faculty
Required – Three surgeons (at a minimum) who will be the surgical faculty. On occasion, we will start with two if the third can be added by the fifth year.
Each surgeon must be:
- Mature Christians who can disciple others
- Excellent surgeons with a broad range of surgical skills
- Have a strong calling to train surgeons in a resource-poor settings
- At least two of the three surgeons should have academic experience in running a training program
- Be at least three years out of training and willing to stay for at least five years
- At least two should be of the specialty being taught (and the third enthusiastic).
- Be a fellow of an internationally recognized college of surgery and/or board eligible/certified in their specialty
- At least two should have experience with the North American training paradigm (as compared to the British, European or African paradigm).
- Agree with the PAACS doctrinal statement.
A hospital which will meet all the requirements of a training site
The hospital must meet all the requirements of a training site for the West African College of Surgery (WACS) or the College of Surgery of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) as well as:
- Actively promote the teaching of the Gospel
- Be in agreement with the PAACS doctrinal statement
- Be willing to sign an MOU with PAACS
- There must be a sufficient number of surgical cases for training
- There must be satisfactory numbers of aesthesia providers
- Have housing and facilities for faculty, trainees and short-term faculty
An Administrative Team
An administrative team who values the addition of a training program, is able to remove bottlenecks, makes charitable care for the poor a high priority and has a flexible approach to problem-solving. They must realize that adequate administrative support of the program and personnel by reinvesting profits for the first decade of service is critical.
Initially PAACS provides approximately 75% of the total cost of training the resident but by year six, the hospital will increasingly provide more of the cost of training until there is a 50-50% split at year 10. However, the hospital often has to invest a few hundred thousand dollars in infrastructure before or during the first few years of the program (housing; updates to the operating theaters, recovery rooms, intensive care units, casualty department; outpatient department and any required improvement to other supporting departments). PAACS does not provide money for infrastructure.
If you think your hospital is a good possibility as a training site, and that God would have you do this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will discuss in detail each step and walk you through it. We will do a long-distance assessment, arrange for an on-site visit to make more specific recommendations and then together, try to jump the hurdles. All along the way, we will pray together for God’s hand upon the effort.