Reaching the women with the greatest needs: Two models for initiation and scale-up of gynecologic oncology fellowship trainings in low-resource settings

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Women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are significantly more likely to develop and die from invasive cervical cancer, while rates of other gynecologic malignancies are comparable to those faced by women in high-income countries. Despite this increased need, there are few specialist physicians in LMICs available to treat women with gynecologic cancers. Training specialists in low-resource settings faces multiple challenges, including ensuring protected time from other clinical demands, access to best practice guidelines, training that is tailored to the specific challenges faced in the trainee's environment, and isolation from other fully trained professionals and securing support services. In addition, training specialists from LMICs in high-resource settings is costly and return of trainees to their own country is not guaranteed. Here we describe two approaches to gynecologic oncology training in LMICs. The International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) developed the Global Curriculum Mentorship and Training Program (Global Curriculum) to support gynecologic oncology fellowships in regions of the world that do not currently have formal training in gynecologic oncology. In India, on the other hand, leaders in world-class gynecologic oncology centers must find a way to meet the training needs of a vast and disparate country.