Training with Excellence
The general surgery training offered by the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) takes a minimum of 5 years to complete. At the end of each year, a resident must pass a written examination prepared by PAACS before advancing to the next level. The examination is based on readings from the textbook “Principles of Surgery” by Seymour Schwartz and many other sources.
Each participating hospital has a surgical library with a wide selection of textbooks and a computer learning center is available with internet access to huge medical literature databases. In addition to the assigned reading, a resident must prepare a formal written or oral case report to present to his/her Program Director for evaluation and discussion.
A resident will learn to perform increasingly complex surgery under the close supervision of the Program Director and other experienced surgeons. A resident must keep a log of all of the procedures he or she has performed or for which he or she has been the first assistant.
Other learning opportunities include supervised and unsupervised patient rounds, pre and post-operative care, and night/weekend call on a rotation schedule. There may also be rotations at other PAACS-approved hospitals, each for two to four months, to broaden a resident’s surgical experience.
The training emphasizes training of the mind and also training of the soul. We are as serious about helping these young men and women become disciples of Christ as we are about helping them become good surgeons. We believe that offering eternal healing trumps the provision of temporal healing. All PAACS hospitals treat all humans as beloved by God. They will offer their services to all patients regardless of creed, race, or nationality.
The evaluation process is multidimensional, and covers all aspects of the resident’s training. Residents are responsible for weekly oral and/or written case presentations or quarterly research projects. Residents are evaluated clinically every six months, as well as at the end of any specialty rotation. Finally residents write a comprehensive exam (multiple choice questions) annually, with the same exam content administered to all levels of residents (“progress testing”).
A certificate of attendance is awarded annually to successful residents. At the end of the fifth year, successful residents receive a diploma, awarded jointly by PAACS, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, and Loma Linda University School of Medicine.
PAACS is an approved training program by the College of Surgery of East, Central, and Southern Africa (COSECSA). PAACS residents who have successfully completed all PAACS requirements are allowed to sit for the COSECSA examinations.