An adequate healthcare workforce characterizes high-quality health systems. Sustainable domestic neurosurgery training is critical to developing a local neurosurgical workforce in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This study evaluated how neurosurgical training is delivered in Ethiopia, provides a historical narrative of neurosurgery training in the nation, and proposes future educational opportunities.
A mixed-methods design consisting of a semi-structured interview and a comprehensive survey was used to acquire data. The interview participants included neurosurgery program directors and faculty involved in resident education. The survey was sent to all current neurosurgery residents in Ethiopia.
Ethiopian neurosurgical service began in 1970, and neurosurgical education started in 2006 with the establishment of the Addis Ababa University (AAU) residency program. The survey response rate was 86%, with 69 of 80 eligible neurosurgery residents responding. Most respondents were male (93%), aged 20–25 years (62%), and enrolled in the AAU program (61%). The oldest medical schools affiliated with tertiary hospitals were the top feeder institutions for neurosurgery training. Seventy-one percent of respondents worked for more than 60 hours/week, and 52% logged at least 100 cases annually. Survey responses demonstrated a critical need to establish subspecialty training and harmonize the national training curriculum.
The history of Ethiopian neurosurgery training exemplifies how global neurosurgery efforts focused on capacity building can rapidly expand the local neurosurgical workforces of LMICs. Opportunities for neurosurgical education require initiatives promoting a subspecialized, diverse workforce that attains both the clinical and academic proficiency necessary for advancing neurosurgical care locally and globally.