Ogulcan Yilmaz

Attending the Masters in Surgical Science and Practice (MSSP) programme can be summarised as a unique and valuable experience for anyone who desires a career in surgery.

During my internship and short-term working experience, I understood the importance of applying theoretical knowledge in a clinical setting is a crucial but challenging issue. Instead of learning by experience from patient-physician interactions, simulation-based training gives the trainees a safer approach with no risk of causing harm. In regards to this, the MSSP provides this safety with a comprehensive curriculum. During the programme, we had a chance to cover every aspect of surgery. Not only did we cover the technical skills like suturing, minor procedures, and laparoscopic skills, we also had lectures in patient safety, communication skills, professionalism, global surgery and research.

Following that, we applied our core knowledge into clinical practice by having simulated ward rounds in which we discuss multiple cases and learn our responsibilities to provide better patient care in a hospital setting. In the technical skills lectures, we receive instant and constructive feedback from experienced members of the faculty that helps us to improve our surgical skills.

Apart from these sessions, we have the opportunity to attend multidisciplinary team meetings and surgical forums where we learn to interact with colleagues from our own discipline and others, giving us the insight to provide better surgical care. Also, we have a journal club for discussing current articles and understanding how an article is made. Despite the pandemic, lectures of the MSSP are taking place according to COVID regulations and guidelines with adequate precautions like N95 masks and social distancing.

Another advantage of the MSSP is gathering young doctors who are coming from different backgrounds but share the same interest in becoming great surgeons. It allows us to build connections with classmates and enables us to experience the academic and social aspects of the program. For instance, our class has formed the so-called ‘MSSP Travel Club’ and discovered the natural beauty of Ireland and explored the culture to the extent of pandemic rules and regulations.

When all these factors were combined, I experienced that my surgical skills and knowledge increased immensely. I also feel more confident about providing good clinical practice. In addition to this, it helped me pass exams like the USMLE Step 1 and prepared me for the upcoming MRCS exams. I would like to thank Professor Oscar Traynor and Dr Marie Morris, our faculty, simulation technicians and the administrative team for their continuous effort to develop the MSSP based on current information and student feedback. I completely recommend it to anyone who wants to commence a career in surgery with a fresh and solid start.

Ogulcan Yilmaz, Masters (MCh) in Surgical Science and Practice, Class of 2022