14 October 2022

Dear Fellows and Members,

There was great energy around campus last month at the start of the new academic year, and at the University of Galway too where Council Member Professor Michael Kerin kindly hosted our RCSI Council Meeting.

This coincided with the 47th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium. We were joined by colleagues from the University of Galway, University Hospital Galway, visiting members of the Royal Urology Society and the Freyer Meeting memorial lecture keynote speakers, Professor Michael Blute and Professor Anthony Costello. RCSI's Professor Kevin Barry had the honour of delivering 'The State of the Art Lecture: A Vision for Surgical Training in Ireland'.

We had more than 140 attendees for our first Surgical Matters webinar of the year, chaired by Professor Calvin Coffey, RCSI Council Member, focusing on 'Modern Advances in the Management of Colorectal Cancer'. We heard outstanding talks from Ms Christina Fleming, ESCP Robotic Fellow, CHU, Bordeaux, France, and Mr Rory Kennelly, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, St Vincent’s University Hospital. A lively and interesting Q&A followed. I urge you to register here for our next Surgical Matters webinar on 'Technology: Shaping the Future of Surgery' on Wednesday, 16 November at 6pm.

Now that we are able to plan in-person events again, we are looking forward to Charter 2023 where our theme will be ‘Shaping the Future’, a topic at the forefront of my priorities as President. The programme will run from 28 January to 3 February and the line-up includes symposia on the 'Future of Surgery and Technology for Surgeons and the Patient', the 30th Carmichael Lecture, the 98th Abraham Colles Lecture and the 45th Millin Lecture. I will share more details next month, but I hope many of you will now start making plans to join us in Dublin.

It is vital that we nurture and encourage aspiring surgeons and help them to become strong applicants for surgical training and accomplished surgeons of the future. Medical students, NCHDs, surgical trainees and Affiliate Members should sign up for the upcoming Affiliate Member session, 'Becoming A Stand Out Surgeon:The Future of Surgery in Your Skillful Hands', on Friday, 3 February 2023. RCSI Affiliate Members now benefit from access to Annals of Surgery, the world's most highly-referenced surgery journal. You can find out more about Affiliate Membership here.

RCSI’s MD of Surgical Affairs, Kieran Ryan, recently travelled to Oman with colleagues from RCPI and signed a cooperative agreement in the field of postgraduate medical training with Oman Medical Specialty Board. This agreement confirms our commitment to collaboration as we explore opportunities in the field of postgraduate surgical training and education as part of RCSI’s International Surgical Fellowship Programme.

Surgical trainees may be interested in a new and exciting opportunity announced by RCSI and Operation Childlife. The Operation Childlife Travel Fellowship will support surgical trainees or medical professionals to participate in international paediatric healthcare missions in developing countries. Up to €3,000 towards travel and accommodation costs is available to the successful applicant who will join the Operation Childlife healthcare team, led by Irish-based consultants, doctors and nurses, to deliver two-week programmes of care in Vietnam, Tanzania, Mongolia or Jordan.

RCSI is home to an international student body including a number of students from Canada, so it was wonderful to be able to welcome the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Dr Andrew Furey – himself an orthopaedic surgeon and educator with Memorial University's School of Medicine in Newfoundland – to RCSI. Premier Furey made a presentation to our RCSI Canadian students, and a panel discussion chaired by the President of the Students Union and Vice President of the Canadian Irish Medical Students Association (CIMSA) followed.

One to share with family and friends is the new RCSI MyHealth series of public lectures which runs until November. Leading experts explore healthcare issues such as mental health, ageing and obesity through the prism of lifestyle medicine. The series aims to demystify common health concerns by drawing on expertise and insight from our team of researchers and international health experts. Now available as a podcast – just search RCSI MyHealth wherever you get your podcasts.

Later this month, I will be attending the annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in San Diego, where I am to be awarded with an Honorary Fellowship by the American College of Surgeons. If any Fellows, Members or Alumni plan to attend, please join me at an RCSI reception on Monday, 17 October from 5pm to 7pm at the Marriott Marquis. To RSVP, please visit this page.

Speaking of the ACS, huge congratulations to Professor Oscar Traynor, Professor of Postgraduate Surgical Education in RCSI Surgical Affairs who was last week inducted into the American College of Surgeons Academy of Master Surgeon Educators, an honorary distinction that recognizes surgeon educators who have devoted their careers to surgical education and are considered premiere leaders in their respective fields.

And, finally, a reminder to all surgical Fellows and Members, Trainees and NCHDs from University Hospital Waterford, Wexford General Hospital, South Tipperary General Hospital and St Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny, that I am looking forward to the opportunity to discuss local issues with you at our ‘Doing the Rounds’ roadshow, which takes place at the RCSI Education Facility, Waterford Regional Hospital on Thursday, 27 October from 5pm to 7pm.

My thanks to my RCSI colleagues, RCSI Council, Fellows and Members for your collegiality, and support to me as President. Your commitment to the next generation of surgeons, and to making a career in surgery a rewarding, attractive, achievable career for the widest possible range of talented new doctors is something for which I am very grateful.

With best wishes,

Professor Laura Viani
President, RCSI