During my undergraduate programme at PU-RCSI, it became increasingly clear that simulated training was the natural evolution of surgical education. As a student, my interest in surgery peaked during my final year in medical school and I began to search for a pathway that would give me the competencies I needed to embark on my surgical career. The RCSI MCh in Surgical Science and Practice (MSSP) programme stood out to me as a novel approach led by Head of Postgraduate Surgical Training Ireland, Professor Oscar Traynor.
As a fresh medical graduate waiting for my internship year, this was the perfect opportunity to build upon my clinical knowledge and skills from my undergraduate years. As an RCSI alumnus, I have found that the core knowledge, clinical competencies, and non-technical skills aspect of the MSSP syllabus perfectly complements my undergraduate teachings.
With top-notch simulation lead by pioneers in the field of general surgery, hepatobiliary surgery, plastic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, ENT, trauma surgery and many more, I feel that my clinical acumen, knowledge base and communication skills have improved tremendously. I feel well equipped and competent enough to appear for both MRCS A and MRCS B exams whilst completing this course.
The technical skills module of this programme makes up a huge aspect and covers everything from basic suturing to laparoscopic surgery to subspeciality surgery such as vascular surgery, trauma surgery, ENT surgery, orthopaedic surgery, and cardiovascular surgery. We practice these skills eight hours each week throughout the duration of the programme with formal assessments in between to ensure our competencies. Additionally, there’s a high surgeon-to-student ratio during these sessions ensuring meticulous detail when performing said operative procedures. Repeated practice and individual guidance are also provided to students.
Joining this programme has been a delight and one of the best decisions I’ve made. There is so much more to this programme than I initially imagined with opportunities for research publications, presentations at conferences, making connections in the surgical field and many more. I am confident that I can apply my newfound expertise to embark on a career in surgery anywhere in the world.
Phrmpreet Mann, MCh in Surgical Science and Practice, Class of 2022