An academic year in Sub-Saharan Africa: The clinical experience of a British Urology Registrar

Alexandra Zachou, Kien A.Mteta, Serigne Gueye
Publication year: 


‘Out-of-programme year for clinical experience’ (OOP-E) is an option available to all the urology registrars in the United Kingdom (UK) as part of the specialty’s training curriculum, in recognition of the holistic benefit of such a year to a surgeon’s in-training professional life.


Being interested in reconstructive urology, I organised an academic year as a registered volunteer resident in two of Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) main academic hospitals, known for their heavy workload in the particular field.

Subjects and methods

The personal logbook and diary of operations and clinical activities kept over this period of twelve calendar months was retrospectively studied in order to assess the overall benefit of this exercise.


Apart from highlighting the significant breadth and operative load of surgical exposure offered in SSA training schemes, this summarised report also gives a comprehensive account of all aspects of a surgeon's working life, during this overseas clinical attachment.


Working in different countries as a surgeon improves one’s perception of the diseases’ spectra of manifestation and management, while enabling participation to surgical activities nowadays seldom in the West. The holistic benefit of such a year, to a surgeon’s in-training professional life cannot be over-emphasised; both on the grounds of experiencing different surgical realities and building upon professional skills, but also in cultivating an international network.