Being able to make a difference in global surgery as a trainee can seem difficult. Even unachievable. “What skills do I have to offer?” “Do I have a voice in global surgery – and if so, how can I make it heard?” These questions can be hard to answer but that didn’t stop our two guests on this episode. If you are a global surgery trainee, you will definitely want to tune in as we explore the creating of the two largest student-founded and student-run global surgery student groups around the world! With over 5,000 members and 48 national working groups of InciSioN and more than 2,500 members and 60+ national chapters of GSSA these two organizations have changed the face of trainee involvement in global surgery. Learn about the origins of both organizations, their founders, what it takes to start an international platform, and how students can get more involved in global surgery!

Dr Zineb Bentounsi and Dr Parisa Fallah: Founders of InciSioN and GSSA









We have two wonderful speakers with us on this episode, representing the involvement and advocacy of medical trainees in global surgery with the message that trainees don’t need to wait until they have finished training to be a valuable member of the team.


Our first guest is Dr Zineb Bentousi. She graduated as a Doctor of Medicine from the Faculté de médecine et de pharmacie de Casablanca, Morocco in 2018 and then completed a Masters in International Health and Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford. When she was a medical student she co-founded and chaired for two years, the International Student Surgical Network – InciSioN. She also co-founded and chaired the local chapter of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) in Casablanca. Now she is working as a research assistant for the SURG-Africa project at the University of Oxford and chairing the Board of Trustees of InciSioN. She is passionate about health advocacy, gender equity, and equal access to opportunities. 


And our second guest is Dr Parisa Fallah, a graduating medical student at Harvard Medical School and soon-to-be OB/GYN resident in Boston at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital combined program. As a first-year medical student, she founded the Global Surgery Student Alliance (GSSA), a national non-profit organization that now has chapters at over 60 U.S. medical schools. She has also had the joy of working with trainees from around the world through GSSA’s role as the U.S. national working group of InciSioN. In addition, she also implemented a global health curriculum for Harvard medical students to encourage future physicians to view their patients in a broader context and to consider global health as a valuable part of their future careers. Throughout her career, she plans to advocate for the voice of OB/GYNs in global surgery and the surgical needs of women around the globe, while continuing to build on her passion for medical education and supporting the future global surgery workforce. We are thrilled to have them both join us on this episode.