Resident Scholar Applications are Open

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A Unique Opportunity

Since 1999, IVUmed has provided over 150 urology residents with
the opportunity to gain unique surgical experience in resource-limited

settings throughout the world. Residents in PGY-3 and above obtain
significant hands-on experience in urology under the supervision of
board-certified mentors.
Program Highlights

  • 1-2 week international trip, coordinated by IVUmed staff
  • Scholarships available to cover most trip expenses
  • Diverse surgical experience, with exposure to cases not often seen in the US
  • Service abroad to underserved populations
  • Share and interact with residents from other countries
  • Collaborate with mentors from other programs
  • Gain a greater insight of the international medical community

Application Information
The 2013-2014 application deadline is February 1, 2013. Applications
can be found on our website at How You Can Help.
Please contact Amy Steele for more information at 801-524-0201 or

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Global Surgery: A new public health culture

A shift in disease
Globally, two billion people do not have access to basic surgical care. Though historically Public Health focused on infectious diseases, it is increasingly clear that more people worldwide suffer from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and trauma. Surgical care is not only needed for large traumatic injuries, but also birth defects, maternal health, cancer, and diseases associated with aging that often require surgical intervention. Annually, NCDs are responsible for 63% of global deaths; 80% of these deaths occur in developing countries.

Essential, affordable care
As the “neglected stepchild of public health”, mentioned by Drs. Jim Kim and Paul Farmer, surgical care must be recognized as a cost-effective, basic component of healthcare for all individuals. To put into perspective the critical need, estimates suggest that at least 3 million women in low-income countries have unrepaired vesicovaginal fistulas (VVFs), and approximately 30,000 to 130,000 new cases develop each year in Africa alone. Increased access to affordable surgical care enables patients suffering from VVF and other conditions requiring surgery to return to healthy, productive lives.

In fact, investments in surgical care in many cases have proven to be less costly than traditional public health interventions. One measure used in the analysis of cost related to disability is the DALY, or “disability-adjusted life year”. It projects the total years of life lost due to the burden of disease. One DALY equates to one year of productive, healthy life lost. In Zambia, the estimated cost per DALY averted for caesarian section for obstructed labor is $319. This cost is well within the budget of other public health measures, such as antiretroviral treatment of HIV.

Focused initiative
Successes like the 1970s campaign to eradicate smallpox demonstrate the power of a concerted public health effort. Surgical programs for prevention and treatment of disease could confer similar public health benefits. The demonstrated success of capacity-building programs like IVUmed’s reveals that educational efforts to improve affordable surgical care are possible and effective. Public health professionals, bioengineers and physicians are moving toward a united front on the burden of surgical disease.

In 1968, the U.S. Surgeon General foresaw that, “It might be possible, with interventions such as antimicrobials and vaccines, to close the book on infectious disease and shift public health resources to chronic diseases.” Yet over 40 years later, 28% of the world still has no access to surgical care. The new statistics are changing the focus of public health discourse. From academic centers to social media blogs, professionals are sharing ideas for affordability and availability of surgical care.

Global surgery conferences, such as the 2013 Extreme Affordability Conference hosted by the University of Utah’s Center for Global Surgery, are being held across the country.

Also, social media has recently given global surgery a voice on the internet. Twitter search “#globalsurgery” provides an endless list of conversations, article links, and event streams. The conversation has started and projects are being initiated. However, the public health community needs to ask, is the effort focused?

Strategy in action
As a surgical education organization, IVUmed recognizes the need for efficient, concerted efforts to provide access to surgical care. IVUmed’s services have been requested by many surgical and urological organizations to help increase access to care in resource-limited parts of the world. This global strategy increases the reach of our united efforts.

Establishing greater access to professional training among surgeons worldwide creates a foundation for an improved healthcare system. As IVUmed and its partners develop self-sustaining surgical education programs, greater access to quality care is made available where it is needed most.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 11% of the global burden of disease can be treated with surgery. Building the capacity necessary to meet this demand involves developing partnerships, accessibility, and affordability. Following in the footsteps of successful public

health efforts of the last century, IVUmed is joining the world’s leading organizations in creating surgical education models to lay a similar foundation.


Join a Global Effort
If you are interested in furthering IVUmed’s mission to make quality urological education and care more widely available, please visit our website at or contact our office at 801.524.0201.

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Vietnam: Taking the next step

In an educational event featured by media in both Utah and Vietnam, IVUmed moved its programs in Ho Chi Minh City forward with an advanced training workshop in pediatric laparoscopic surgery.

The project builds upon a history of success in Vietnam, where IVUmed has helped Le Tan Son, MD, and his colleagues establish a robust pediatric urology training program that now serves over 10 times as many patients each year as it did in the 1990s.

One hundred percent of the workshop’s participants surveyed found the training useful and look forward to further instruction within the next year. The workshop, organized in conjunction with the University of Utah’s Center for Global Surgery, was led by IVUmed founder, Catherine deVries, MD, along with Chad Wallis, MD, and Lars Cisek, MD. Generous sponsorship of the workshop was provided by Karl Storz-Vietnam.

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Annual Appeal 2012

“If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed;
if you think in terms of ten years, plant trees;
if you in terms of 100 years…

Teach the People”
~ Confucius 

Salt Lake City has five pediatric urologists serving six million people, across the Intermountain West. By contrast, five pediatric urologists serve a population of over 800 million across sub-Saharan Africa.

With 20 years of experience, IVUmed’s Teach One, Reach Many approach builds capacity for quality surgical care in resource-poor settings. Please consider making a year-end donation to support vital work.

To make a contribution and possibly increase your contribution through matching gifts, please go to our Donate Page.

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Bringing ideas and countries together with telehealth

IVUmed is invited—and invited back—by host countries that see us as long-term partners. To make the most of the interval between each hands-on surgical training workshop, we have increased our use of telehealth technology.

In partnership with the University of Utah, we have conducted a series of lectures and consultations with our colleagues in Rwanda. This allowed IVUmed volunteers to provide some initial training before hitting the ground in Kigali for their first on-site workshop.

IVUmed is currently working to increase access to this valuable technology among its partner sites and is developing a digital training platform that will combine videoconferencing, distance consultation, and content libraries. This software, developed by IBM and Boston Children’s Hospital, will make an entire digital learning package available to doctors and nurses in low resource—and importantly—low bandwidth areas of the world.

IVUmed partners around the globe wish to participate in this learning format. In fact, 93% of those surveyed stated that they are very interested in telehealth training in their facilities.

Through videoconferencing, online learning libraries, and remote consultation, our volunteers’ efforts have an even greater impact. They provide further education on concepts covered during workshops to maintain continuity and to prepare for further hands-on instruction. The technology also allows our volunteers to provide remote training in multiple countries at the same time.

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Cancer doesn’t hurt just the 20%

Dr. Eggener trains local physicians on urological oncology needs.

According to Reuters, “most of Africa’s around 2,000 languages have no word for cancer. The common perception in both developing and developed countries is that it’s a disease of the wealthy world, where high-fat, processed-food diets, alcohol, smoking and sedentary lifestyles fuel tumor growth.” However, according to the news service, sub-Saharan Africa will see an estimated one million new cancer cases this year — “a number predicted to double to two million a year in the next decade,” and, “[b]y 2030, according to predictions from the [WHO], 70 percent of the world’s cancer burden will be in poor countries.  Source

Cancers, including urological cancer, are not only a developed-world problem. An IVUmed board member, Scott Eggener, MD, is a urological oncologist based in Chicago who frequently travels to the West Bank to provide urological oncology training to local physicians.

However, the technologies needed to provide proper care of cancers are inaccessible to the developing world. The bioengineering and biotechnology fields in academic centers are acknowledging this large gap. Currently, several centers of innovation are working towards making proper medical care more accessible to the developing world.

To learn more about these innovations, you can check out several conferences on affordability and innovation in global health. Local to Utah, the Center for Global Surgery is hosting the  Extreme Affordability Conference  in late March 2013.

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IVUmed is committed to making quality urological care available to people worldwide.