The advantages of understanding global health through our online neurosurgery course


Our online Neurosurgery courses provide a unique insight for students, expanding their knowledge and confidence even further. Our courses are led and taught by experts in their field and our course leaders will be positioned as thought leaders in their specialty areas.

The rationale for our neurosurgery course is to teach those with an interest in our diploma in neurosurgery and MSc neurosurgery courses, the most up-to-date, evidence based medicine to aid in treating patients with brain and spinal conditions. We aim to give the students a solid basis of subject knowledge; skills in critical analysis of the literature; and preparation for adult learning and reflective practice.

We spoke to Kat Whitehouse, our excellent neurosurgery tutor. She said although she is UK-based, it is fascinating to see students share both similarities and variety between the represented nations in terms of resources, cultural differences and local experiences.

β€œIt has been a pleasure to engage with a motivated and intelligent group of individuals from across the world – in fact, I think we have students from every continent in our group!

The collaborative method of working is great to see, with each person providing a different perspective and area of knowledge on the cases.”

Why is it important to learn about global healthcare systems?

For any aspiring healthcare professionals, it is important to acknowledge that healthcare systems are continuously changing and to allow comparisons to be made, it is important not to limit the awareness to the current situation which is merely a transient between the past and future. It is best to address the aims behind the change, the methods of change and the projected reality as a result. Another consideration especially with the effects of globalisation is that the chosen health system should be adapted to the local population or at least to be mindful of the impact of the speed of such change.

At Learna, we credit ourselves for selecting the very best tutors from around the world to guide our students and provide a unique insight into healthcare systems globally, expanding their knowledge and confidence even further. We also had the pleasure of speaking with our other course tutor Dr Ramez, who is currently based in Singapore. We discussed why global health education is important for medical students and he told us that having awareness of global health systems is essential and that it can complement and enhance each step of traditional physician training:

How different is the healthcare system where you are - compared to the UK public health sector?

When I was based in the UK, healthcare had an excellent health system based on being free and supported by a great general practice system. This provided excellent management and after care. The drawback was the need for rationalisation which in reality affected waiting times and care provision to some chronic conditions but no doubt the care was excellent for almost all real urgent and major health conditions.

Singapore has a strong private hospitals and healthcare system, and also serves neighbouring countries. The health system in Singapore seems to be providing almost immediate service with hardly any waiting times. On the other hand, in Singapore the health service is not free and the reality is that on occasions the individual financial situations influence the decision to seek medical attention and choice of treatment. It becomes so obvious that a major problem in Singapore is a very weak primary care system.

In neurosurgery we are constantly faced with patients with residual neurological disabilities attending the follow up clinics having been surprisingly discharged from the rehabilitation services and without any input from the primary care system. Furthermore, the freedom of patients seeking second opinions from health professionals including private facilities without input or advice from GPs leads to suboptimal care in some instances.

In your lessons, do you provide a unique insight into the two healthcare systems for our students?

Yes, I do point out to students and trainees attending our clinical activities and clinics the instances where care is affected by lack of primary care involvement or individual financial constraints and how this is compared to other health systems.

Why do you think it is important to expand their neurosurgery knowledge even further on health care systems around the world?

This is of utmost importance as lack of insight into the advantages and equally the disadvantages of other different health systems will obscure the need for change in a particular system. Different health systems are passing through different phases of change and it is important to highlight the lessons learned from the experience of other systems to allow which aspects to adapt or avoid incorporating in their future development.

Neurosurgery is a competitive and demanding speciality, requiring a broad knowledge of anatomy, neurology and physiology, in addition to critical appraisal and research skills. Neurosurgical trainees and specialist CNS nurses require specialist qualifications to progress their careers in neurosurgery. As could be expected, the majority of our students are junior doctors hoping to start on a neurosurgical training scheme, but we aim to attract nurses studying to be advanced practitioners, as we know that they have a lot of knowledge and experience in neurosurgery and this course would certainly help them to formalise and consolidate.

About our Neurosurgery programmes

Our online neurosurgery courses are suitable for doctors of all grades and nurses, in particular clinical nurse specialists wanting to specialise in neurosurgery. Healthcare professionals working within a relevant clinical setting, both UK and overseas, with a related healthcare science degree. Our courses provide active learning opportunities through scenario based discussion forums. Where students will work with their peers from across the world and from a range of disciplines, giving them clinically accurate and relevant information that they can take straight into their clinical practice.

Our flexible courses are designed for busy healthcare professionals in the UK and overseas who want to specialise in neurosurgery and apply conceptual and practical knowledge of neurosurgical conditions in both emergency and elective settings.

Is this what you aim to do? If you want to take the next step in your career, then view our Postgraduate Diploma in Neurosurgery and Neurosurgery MSc for more information.