Harvard Medical School

Program in Global Surgery and

Social Change

About the Program


    The Program in Global Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC) was founded in 2008 as a collaborative effort between the Harvard teaching hospitals, the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Partners in Health. Our primary objective is to promote and advocate for universal access to safe, affordable, and timely surgical, anesthesia, and obstetrics and gynecology care when needed through clinical and health care service research related to global surgery, policy development, and training of leaders in global surgery.

    To accomplish this objective, the PGSSC strives to produce future leaders in global surgery through the Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship. The fellowship aims to empower surgeons, surgical trainees, medical students, and graduate students in health-related degrees around the world with the research and business management skills they need to improve the health of some of the world's most impoverished people. PGSSC faculty, research fellows, and research associates engage in projects focused on the burden of surgical disease in low-and-middle-income countries, local surgical capacity strengthening, cost effectiveness, clinical outcomes, and the implementation of innovative technologies in resource-poor settings. To conduct and facilitate our research, we partner with local clinicians, ministries of health, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders in various countries. In addition to training future leaders and producing such research, the PGSSC team is familiarized with the global surgery agenda in order to develop and promote the policy needed to further our mission and work towards universal health coverage, set forth in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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