221.655.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 4th Term | 2 Credit(s)
M 5:30:00 PM
  • Contact Information
    Adam Kushner
    O: 917-697-4040 | Office Hours: Wed: 10 am -noon Location: Daily Grind
    Evan Wong
  • Course Description
    Explores the components of health systems related to surgical care. Focuses on the global burden of surgical disease and trauma, and deficiencies in surgical capacity in LMICs. Case studies from the US, Sierra Leone and Rwanda illustrate common surgical conditions and needed components for a comprehensive health system. Specific topics include surgical care for Women's Health, obstetrical or gynecological injury, and trauma care. Discusses the importance of planning for surgical interventions in disaster management and conflict , including the difference between war surgery and military surgery. Also addresses the economic cost and benefit of surgery and surgical care in LMICs.
  • Intended Audience
    Persons currently working in health systems in developing countries, or seeking a career in this area who need to understand the burden of disease from surgical diseases and how the health system must support these services.
  • Methods of Assessment

    1. Mid term exercise (40%) due 5:00PM April 14th 2014

    2. Final paper on an aspect of surgical care services and systems for a selected low or middle income country (60%) due 5:00PM May 12th 2014

  • Prerequisites
    Clinical background is not required
  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Course Learning Objectives

    After completing this course, you should be able to:

    • Describe the global burden of surgical disease and identify gaps in current knowledge
    • Identify current research tools for measuring surgical capacity in LMICs
    • Discuss the different types of surgical cases for prevention and treatment of disease and how to plan and incorporate these into health system planning
  • Use of cell phones and laptops during class

    Students are encourage to live tweet during the class. Please try to incorporate the #globalsurgery hash-tag in your tweets.

  • Instructor Bio

    Adam L. Kushner, MD, MPH, FACS is a board certified general surgeon who practices exclusively in developing countries; an Associate in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; a Lecturer in Surgery in the Department of Surgery at Columbia University; and founder of the Society of International Humanitarian Surgeons/Surgeons OverSeas (SOS).

    Dr. Kushner has worked as a general surgeon and educator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Liberia, Malawi, Sierra Leone and South Sudan; conducted human rights assessments in Iraq for Physicians for Human Rights; taught trauma care and emergency management of landmine injuries to medical personnel working in landmine affected regions of Ecuador, Nicaragua and Colombia; and worked as a health specialist with the International Rescue Committee during the Indonesia tsunami response. Since 2003 he has participated in US military training exercises where he functions as a subject matter expert for human rights and humanitarian assistance issues.   

    Dr. Kushner completed his general surgery residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center - San Antonio, has an M.D. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins, and a B.A. from Cornell University.

  • Instructor Research Interests

    Global Surgery, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, landmine and cluster munition injuries

  • Grading Policy

    Grades will be based on:

    (40%) A mid-term exercise which will be to write a one page advocacy letter either for or against increasing resources for surgical care. This letter should be addressed to a policy maker or donor.

    (60%) A final paper on any topic related to surgical care needs in LMICs. It is envisioned that final papers will ultimately be suitable for publication, however, this is not a requirement. Final papers should be 2000-3000 words (no more than 3000!) and should be submitted to the Courseplus Dropbox.

  • 'Letter to Your Students'

    Thanks for your interest in this new course: "Surgical care needs in LMICs!"

    This course is the first of its kind at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and one of the first global surgery courses to be offered in the United States. The field of global surgery is truely in its infancy.

    My aim it to provide background information and skills that will help students become leaders in the fleld of global surgery or to at least consider surgically related conditions when developing public health interventions.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns.




  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at