Surgical Education Learners Forum (SELF)

The Surgical Education Learners Forum (SELF) develops and evaluates training modules for health care workers in low-resource settings. SELF training enables anyone to independently learn and self-assess specific skills. SELF training modules are free-to-use and publicly available.

SELF is an evolution of the Global Surgical Training Challenge, which funded the development of surgical training modules that allow practitioners to learn, practice, and self-assess specific surgical skills without supervision from a more experienced surgeon. The training modules are available for free on Appropedia.

The Intuitive Foundation supports three SELF training programs with the following aims.

1) Develop training modules for clinical health care workers.

The SELF: Clinical Skills Training Program funds the development of training modules that enable health care workers in low-resource settings to independently learn and self-assess specific clinical skills. This grant provides funding to adapt existing training materials to be freely available on an open-source platform called Appropedia, and be entirely self-administrable from anywhere in the world.

Funding is available for organizations to adapt, improve, and publish existing clinical skills training modules. This grant accepts proposals on a rolling basis. Learn more here.

2) Train biomedical technicians to repair and maintain medical devices.

The SELF: Biomedical Training Program improves the skills and knowledge of biomedical technicians and engineers in resource-limited settings. The pilot provides learners with no-cost access to Medical Aid International’s biomedical training program, which includes a 13-unit self-administered online training course, device documentation library, high-quality tools, and a laptop.

Funding is available for health care facilities to enroll biomedical technicians in the SELF: Biomedical Training Program at no-cost. This program seeks interest from hospitals by February 14, 2023. Email Jonathan Miller at for more details.

Future funding will also be available for makerspaces to offer the SELF: Biomedical Training as part of their programming.

3) Evaluate the effectiveness of self-directed trainings with real learners.

The SELF: Training Evaluation Program tests the effectiveness of clinical skills training modules in real-world settings. The program funds health care facilities to identify potential learners and clinical cases, provide time and space for learners to do the training, and measure the effectiveness of the training’s learning aims.

Funding is available for health care facilities to run independent evaluations of SELF clinical skills training modules in low- and middle-income countries. Email for more information.