Surgery – Beyond the Noble Profession

“Surgery has been the neglected stepchild of global health.” A very well-known saying across the world of surgery first introduced by Dr. Paul Farmer. Has it ever crossed your mind why surgery is viewed that way? Allow us to take you on a journey of hope where motivation is formed by the touch of a scalpel!

<Muna Rommaneh>

On a sunday night, while looking for something to watch, a quick look at TV news is enough to help you notice the amount of crisis, disaster and conflict across the world. Has it ever occurred to you how these people get access to surgical care? These three major problems are usually linked to displacement. The case only gets worse when the population is underserved. Healthcare has been one of the most important topics discussed globally. Improving healthcare is the current ultimate goal. As human beings, it is our right to have access to health care including safe surgery. Unfortunately, global surgery has been neglected during the majority of these discussions though it is a key factor in improving healthcare.

Surgery is a noble profession.[1] When referring to something with the word “noble”, it must  possess outstanding qualities such as eminence and dignity, have power of transmitting by inheritance, or indicate superiority or commanding excellence of mind, character, or high ideals or morals. Without a doubt, these three attributes befit the profession of surgery. Though many surgeons have tried to set standards of ethical and humane practice and have made magnificent contributions in education, clinical care and science; we still have a long way to go!

Looking at surgery today, we notice that profound changes are taking place at all levels. These changes have caused surgeons and those involved in the surgical profession to come across both new challenges and opportunities. These changes are occurring on a global level, on the national level, in science and technology, in healthcare, and in surgical education and practice. Surgical care has been revolutionized throughout the years. As a result, we have seen significantly improved longevity and the quality of human life. Needless to say, surgery must keep evolving with time.

Why should anyone lose a loved one because they did not have access to safe surgical care? A condition that needs a few tens of minutes to be treated may have to wait up to months in some areas leading to fatal results. Who is responsible for improving surgical care globally? WE ARE! Join us today on #GlobalSurgeryDay to say loud and clear: “Safe surgery is our right!”. Your voice matters and it is indeed very valuable!


  1.   Debas HT. Surgery: A Noble Profession in a Changing World. Ann Surg. 2002 Sep;236(3):263–9.

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