Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Resource-Limited Setting? 

    A simple definition is: a place where resources are scarce. In the case of surgery, these resources include consumable and reusable supplies, hospital beds, hospitals, transportation, finances to pay for treatment, and experienced clinicians. Usually such places also lack a reliable source of water, electricity, sanitation, and administrative or logistical support. We know from the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery’s 2015 report that 5 billion people, more than ⅔ of the world’s population, face these types of challenges when they need surgical care. 

Where do the photos and illustrations come from? 

    Most photos come from the personal collections of the authors and are taken with a high-quality smartphone camera. The illustrations are from Gray’s Anatomy, a textbook which is in the public domain. We also use photos, illustrations, and charts from other Open Access materials such as journals or websites, including Wikimedia Commons. These are attributed when used. 


Can I copy or distribute these chapters? Can I use them in a classroom or other teaching setting? 

    These chapters are all licensed by Creative Commons licensing, explained further here https://creativecommons.org. Briefly, you can reuse, distribute, and even modify these chapters or use photos from them in your own book chapter or website. The only limitation is that whatever you create must be freely available to anyone and not used for profit or put behind a paywall. 


Why don’t you have videos in your Manual? 

    We have attempted to keep our Manual as low-bandwidth as possible. However, there certainly are many high quality videos available that show how to do surgery. There are also many lower quality and unhelpful ones. Most videos show laparoscopic or robotic surgery. We commend organizations like the Society of American Gastrointestinal Surgeons (https://www.sages.org) for making many high quality videos of complex laparoscopic surgeries available to the public without charge. 
    A team of experienced surgeons could vet all the surgical videos available and compile the ones that would be useful in a setting such as ours; that would be a worthy, but completely separate project. 


You don’t have a chapter on _____ condition or _____ operation. Why not? 

    There are two possible answers to this question: either the chapter was never intended for this Manual, or it hasn’t been written yet! Our original table of contents for this project reached 135 chapters. Most of these are still being written: our goal is to have all of them done by the end of 2026. 


Orthopedics is a tremendous problem in Resource-Limited settings. Why isn’t there any Ortho in the Manual? 

    Orthopedics is covered quite well in two (mostly) free resources: Orthobullets https://www.orthobullets.com and the AO Surgery Reference https://surgeryreference.aofoundation.org. Adding Ortho to this resource would increase its volume by ⅓ or more; there is a tremendous volume of information in this field! If anyone is interested in adding some orthopedics, contact us and we can discuss further. 


Who are the contributors? How can I become one? 

    We welcome your input! As stated in the “About” section, we hope to inspire other surgeons who live and work in Resource-Limited to join our community and contribute from your own knowledge and experience! Elsewhere on the Main page you can find Instructions for Authors and an analysis of our goals and intended audience. Please contact us at the email addresses below to get involved!

Richard Davis MD FACS FCS(ECSA)
Kijabe, Kenya

Rondi Kauffmann MD MPH FACS
Nashville, Tennessee, USA