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FIENS Brings Neurosurgical Training to Developing World

Madison, Wisconsin - Since 1969, the Foundation for International Education in Neurological Surgery (FIENS) has trained neurosurgeons in 21 countries ranging from Peru to Nepal to Indonesia.


But to reach more patients in those countries, the group is shifting emphasis to better support the infrastructure of growing health systems. It is forming a community board, and needs volunteers with expertise in such diverse fields as infrastructure, transportation, shipping, internet-based education and distribution of health care.


"The (FIENS) 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," writes Dr. Robert Dempsey, in the December issue of the journal Neurosurgery.


Dempsey is chairman of FIENS board and chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. He has been a long-time international volunteer, performing surgery and teaching neurosurgical residents in countries from Ecuador to Uganda. But, he says, those trained neurosurgeons need better infrastructure to extend their care to more of their people.


"We are dedicated to developing that infrastructure to elevate the broader medical capacity of these underserved regions," he writes. "This may serve to extend the reach of the health care system by providing neurosurgical care outside of the capital of a developing country ... this is often critical in parts of the world where neurosurgical care otherwise would reach a tiny fraction of the population."


His Neurosurgery prospectus on the group invites other neurosurgeons to join the effort by volunteering at


"The mission here is clear," Dempsey writes. "We wish to establish neurosurgery at a high level in developing countries."

Date Published: 11/20/2013

News tag(s):  educationglobal healthneurosurgery

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FIENS Brings Neurosurgical Training to Developing World

Last updated: 12/05/2013
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