The IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program is a comprehensive two-year education and training program designed for regions around the world that do not currently have formal training in gynecologic oncology.

When physicians in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) do not have access to specialty training, they are unequipped to treat the high volume of patients presenting with cancer and leaving women without the specialty care they need for the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer and other gynecologic malignancies. Given the rising rates of cancer in LMICs, there is a critical need to train and educate local physicians to address this epidemic.

Program Elements:

  • Institutions in high-resource regions (international mentors) are partnered with institutions in lower-resource regions (local mentors and fellows) to implement gynecologic oncology training. (Some training sites have implemented the curriculum with mentors within the same region/country and are not using the twinning model.)
  • Fellows follow a web-based curriculum & participate in monthly video conferences with international mentors & monthly virtual tumor boards (Project ECHO).
  • International mentors travel to the training site 2-3 times a year for hands-on surgical training and fellows travel to the high-resource institution for 1-3 months. (Travel restrictions due to the global coronavirus pandemic have limited opportunities for hands-on training.)
  • The fellow’s progress is evaluated though evaluation reports completed by the local supervisor and international mentor, surgical case log review, Project ECHO participation and periodic knowledge assessments.
  • Upon completion of the program, each fellow will take a final examination, and if successful, will receive a certificate of satisfactory completion of training.

Download the 2021 Progress Report to learn more about how this program came about, the training sites and details about how it works.

Eventually, the number of trained specialists in these institutions and regions will increase and those who are trained through the Global Curriculum will become the teachers and mentors of future generations. With more skilled healthcare providers dedicated to improving care for women with gynecologic cancer in these regions, there will be greater access to quality care.

Training Sites and Mentor Locations

The program has helped in strengthening our health system as we endeavor to deliver equitable, timely, quality, and comprehensive gynecologic oncology services to our women in the country. Most of our women now have access to effective and quality cancer care particularly those who did not have an opportunity to get appropriate surgery. – Dr. Paul Kamfwa, Local Supervisor, Women and Newborn Hospital, Zambia

My knowledge and skills in the management of gyn cancer patients has been enriched through the IGCS Global Curriculum, especially in surgery and chemotherapy. It has enhanced our multidisciplinary approach to managing patients with other disciplines like pediatric oncology, medical oncology, and palliative care. People should now be aware that there are specialized services with the lead in gyn oncology including screening and preventive services. If possible, more external mentors could join the pool of trainers as the institution (UCI) develops its capacity of sub-specialists. – Dr. Jerome Katumba, Fellow, Uganda Cancer Institute

There is no better way to pay it forward than to put my time and energy into programs like the IGCS Global Curriculum for gynecologic oncology training. The program provides a structure through which I know my personal investment of time and effort will have the maximal effect in improving training and women’s health globally. – Dr. Joseph Ng (Singapore) International Mentor for Da Nang Oncology Hospital, Vietnam

In country like Nepal, where the burden of gynecological malignancies is high and there is lack of comprehensive cancer centers and formal training opportunities in gynecologic oncology, the need for the IGCS Global Curriculum and Mentorship Program cannot be exaggerated. Being an IGCS member from a resource constrained country, I feel fortunate and gratified to be associated with the program as a local mentor and contributing to the society and country by helping to train our compassionate gynecologists in our own local situation. – Dr. Jitendra Pariyar, Local Mentor, Civil Service Hospital Nepal

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