5 October 2023

Dear Fellows and Members,

It has been wonderful to see the energy and enthusiasm of our students as they return to campus, taking part in orientation activities and getting to grips with their timetables, making new friends and the joy of catching up with old. I’ve no doubt that the picture is the same in all campuses returning all over the world with students open to new ideas, opportunities and possibilities and ready to begin their learning journey.

Autumn has truly shown itself in Ireland, with the evenings getting darker and the temperature cooling, highlighted also by the very disruptive storm Agnes at the end of September, impacting travel and power all over the country. With the Southwest impacted most I’m glad to say that it has not deterred us from travelling to Cork for our ‘Doing the Rounds’ South and Southwest roadshow and we are very much looking forward to meeting our Fellows, Members, trainees and NCHDs to listen to views and concerns about local issues. Everyone is welcome and can still register.

I am also looking forward to the White Coat Ceremony on Tuesday, 3 October. This is such a wonderful occasion to recognise professionalism for all our new students of Medicine, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Physician Associate Studies and Advanced Therapeutic Technologies.

As I mentioned last month, we will travel to Boston for the ACS Clinical Congress from 22 to 28 October and I warmly invite all Fellows and Members attending to come to our North American Chapter of Fellows reception on Monday, 23 October from 5-8pm in the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport, Boston. I would be delighted to catch up with you all while I am there. Please register here.

On my return, it’s straight into the 45th Millin Meeting and Lecture on Friday, 10 November in Dublin. The meeting, held in memory of Mr Terrence J. Millin, past President of RCSI (1963-1966) and a pioneer in prostate surgery, will include a variety of talks and lectures on topics such as surgical research and surgical training, as well as the 46th annual Millin Lecture, recognising excellence in original surgical research. You can view the full programme and register here.

September began with the launch of the second annual Operation Childlife Clinical Fellowship, aimed at supporting surgical trainees and medical professionals in gaining additional expertise by participating in international healthcare missions. Operation Childlife provides vitally important support and skills exchange for local surgical and healthcare teams in low- and middle-income countries, adding capacity and expertise that ultimately improves patient outcomes. This fellowship is a wonderful opportunity for the successful candidate to join Operation Childlife and the vital work they do. Find out more here.

I also attended the launch of the RCSI Centre for Positive Health Sciences' latest book, The International Routledge Handbook of Positive Health Sciences: Positive Psychology and Lifestyle Medicine Research, Theory and Practice, coming out this autumn.  The book is ideal for surgeons, medical doctors, nurses and other health professionals interested in helping their patients flourish psychologically and physically, no matter the circumstances.

We opened our doors for Culture Night 2023, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of pioneering Irish surgeon and anatomist Abraham Colles. Visitors took a self-guided tour and enjoyed a fascinating exhibition highlighting the life and legacy of Colles. A leading figure in the golden age of Irish medicine, his innovative approach to anatomy education is apparent in medical schools to this day. 

Finally, and most recently I was delighted to help launch RCSI's strategic plan for 2023-2027. Built around four themes, the strategy outlines how we will fulfil our mission to 'Educate, Nurture and Discover for the Benefit of Human Health' and innovate for a healthier future. Innovating for a Healthier Future 2023-2027 sets out a roadmap for the next five years and unites the RCSI community in supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals – with a particular focus on Goal 3, which targets good health and well-being. It is fitting that this strategy is launched when RCSI is the highest ranked institution in the world for its impact on health and well-being. It is hugely exciting to see the ambitious plans set out in this new strategy and I look forward to seeing its impact over the coming five years.

As RCSI President I am continually heartened by the collegiality and support of RCSI Council and Fellows and Members. I know you work beyond reasonable expectations in the interests of patient care, and I am committed to supporting you and advocating on your behalf.

With thanks and best wishes,

Professor Laura Viani
RCSI President