Main Article Content
Background: The POSNA Pediatric Orthopaedic Global Outreach (POGO) Committee was established with its core mission of advancing children’s musculoskeletal care around the world, with recent expansion of its scope toward furthering scientific research. POSNA sponsors international surgeons (POGO Scholars) to visit North America as part of the mutual outreach effort. Research results from North America may not be generalizable to other regions, where surgeons may see pathologies that are unique to the area. The purpose of the study was to identify the challenges and needs of the POGO Scholars when pursuing scientific research.
Methods: An online survey questionnaire composed of nine questions was disseminated via email to all POGO Scholars from year 2007-2020. The survey was anonymous but the Scholars could voluntarily disclose their names and countries of practice. Descriptive statistics were performed.
Results: Thirty-four out of 76 identified Scholars responded to the survey, encompassing five continents and at least 15 countries worldwide. The major barriers of performing research were lack of funding (82.4%), insufficient training in research (70.6%) and issues relevant to study execution (64.7%). Most Scholars preferred to publish their results in international indexed journals (58.8%), followed by presentation at international conferences (17.6%), while the need of statistical assistance (56.3%), prohibitive publication costs and difficulty with manuscript revisions (50% each) were the major challenges. POSNA could help the most in the areas of funding (64.7%), research writing support (55.9%), statistics support (52.9%) and research mentorship (50%).
Conclusions: The challenges the Scholars face are similar to those encountered by academic surgeons in North America, but amplified by a limited resource environment. Mutually-beneficial involvement including sharing POSNA resources in funding, networking and a platform for research mentoring and equitable collaboration, can synergize the surgeons’ efforts internationally as well as further the development of Scholar-centered local research program while fostering long-lasting relationships. The POGO committee will use the results of this survey in the ongoing efforts to support research that improves global orthopaedic care for children.