Addressing the Global Disparities in the Delivery of Pediatric Orthopaedic Services: Opportunities for COUR and POSNA


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Abstract

The burden of musculoskeletal conditions, especially injuries, is increasing in low-income and middle-income countries. Road traffic injuries have become epidemic. There are multiple barriers to accessing surgical services at both the individual (utilization) and the health system (availability) levels, and deficiencies in education and training of health providers. Specialty societies such as the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA) have an opportunity to play an important role through teaching and training. The POSNA Children’s Orthopedics in Underserved Regions (COUR) committee has supported the Visiting Scholars Program, which invites surgeons from the developing world to attend a scientific meeting and facilitates the scholar’s visit to North American pediatric orthopaedic centers. POSNA members have held global educational courses that support an educational exchange between lecturers and attendees. The COUR web site allows for submission of trip reports that document successes and obstacles experienced by members performing overseas clinical care and teaching. The web site also provides educational resources relevant to providing care in these environments. POSNA collaborates with other societies, such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons, to provide education in disaster management. In addition to increasing member involvement, specialty societies have the opportunity for continued data collection from overseas care, application of US registry data to disease processes in the developing world, and further collaboration with one another.

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