Dear Trainees and Trainers,
As the academic and training years ends, I would like to reflect on the events of the past year and welcome the incoming ISTG president, Michael Flanagan, who is heading up the committee for 2021/2022.
In a year that could have been difficult for a society whose outward facing business is mainly in-person events, I feel we thrived and in fact improved year on year when it comes to our main purpose – representing trainees and providing a voice within RCSI to trainee issues.
Our first event, part of the RCSI webinar series, presented up-to-the-minute research on training numbers across the country, and was an excellent forum for keeping trainees and trainers up to date on how we compared nationally and internationally.
Our annual careers day for aspiring surgeons, including talks from all surgical specialties, went off without a hitch. The proceeding Research Symposium demonstrated a high calibre of research with heavy trainee involvement. I wish our prize winner, Jake McDonnell, all the best in his future career.
We collaborated with RCSI SurgSoc on their “So You Want To Be A Surgeon” event, to create inspiring and informative videos. These are now available on our new website, published this year also, with thanks to our incoming president and RCSI’s IT services team for developing same.
In my mind, the highlight of the year was our session at RCSI Charter Day. Along the theme of “Getting the most out of your training” we had a wide variety of talks from all manner of disciplines. Beginning with some excellent talks on organising fellowship opportunities for trainees, this was followed by an introduction to RCSI’s Global Surgery programme with examples of fellowship opportunities in low- and middle-income countries. Ms. Sumrit Bola from ENT in Oxford, Mr Eoin Sheehan from Orthopaedics and Felipe Contepomi from Leinster Rugby each gave fascinating talks on their areas of expertise. Prof. Peter Gillen as the Bosco O’Mahony lecturer was engaging, interesting and inclusive as always. We rounded up the morning session with our Silver Scalpel prize, given this year to a well-deserving Prof. Narayanasamy Ravi, and we hope to present this prize in person at our next dinner event.
Our second RCSI webinar with a focus on trainees was a resounding success with perspectives from the aviation industry and army on apprenticeship models, delivered by Captain Karl O’Neill and Cathal Berry, TD, respectively. It was engaging and informative and is an event I would recommend watching back over if missed by any of the fellows or members, now available on the RCSI website.
We have had a busy year when one includes the events and the multiple surveys of current trainee perspectives. It would not have been possible without the ongoing work of the committee of representatives who helped keep the finger on the pulse of trainee issues. The RCSI Surgical Affairs office have also been an immense support throughout the year. Each speaker at our events gave their valuable time to prepare stimulating talks. I would like to thank all individuals involved this year for their help and support, and I wish Michael all the best in the year to come.