Free Article: FIENS Global Health and Neurosurgical Volunteerism

The Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery (FIENS), established in 1969, is dedicated to the provision of neurosurgical care in developing countries through the education of the founding neurosurgeons of those countries. As we enter a time of revolutionary change in health care, as well as communication, and education in neurosurgery, FIENS is transforming itself into a proactive agent of change in the healthcare of these countries. Currently involved in 21 sites around the world, FIENS volunteers are active in assessing the state of local care, tailoring curriculum and training to the needs of graduate neurosurgeons of the region, and supplying infrastructure and electronic education. FIENS has been assisting with providing equipment and instructing in its proper use and, most important, establishing training programs in the countries to ensure an ongoing supply of expertise in those lands. Neurosurgery has a long tradition of extremely altruistic volunteers who enter the specialty to serve and continue to do work globally. FIENS is working to coordinate these volunteer efforts toward a common educational goal by partnering with a wide variety of organizations: the World Federation of Neurological Societies, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the Society of Neurological Surgeons, ThinkFirst, the Africa 100 Program, and the Neurosurgery, Education and Development Foundation. The common philosophy is that building infrastructure and educational programs in a developing country is the best way to ensure that well-trained neurosurgeons of that country will succeed and benefit patients in their homelands. FIENS works to coordinate the multiple strengths of different organizations and to direct volunteer efforts to the sites with the most potential for growth and benefit.

From: Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery (FIENS) Global Health and Neurosurgical Volunteerism by Dempsey et al.

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