6 March 2023

Dear Fellows and Members,

As I write, the glimpse of spring we had at the end of February seems to have disappeared again and snow is forecast. I hope this icy spell will be behind us soon and we can get out and about more in the longer evenings ahead.

I have just returned from the Sylvester O’Halloran Perioperative Symposium at the School of Medicine at the University of Limerick. There was a packed programme covering everything from robotic surgery to big data and building surgical trials capacity, alongside some wonderful sessions in the specialties.

A highlight for me was a very hopeful and passionate Sylvester O’Halloran Lecture on ‘Innovation to Better Healthcare’ from our own Professor Cathal Kelly, Vice Chancellor and CEO/Registrar, RCSI. I was proud to see so many RCSI Fellows and Members in attendance and to hear first-hand about the knowledge and innovation our surgeons and future surgeons bring to Irish Healthcare.

In February, students gathered in the Desmond Auditorium for the annual Consilio Manuque Awards Ceremony. This is a celebration of student achievements across the undergraduate Schools of Medicine, Physiotherapy, and Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences and provides us with a wonderful snapshot of the enormous talent we have the privilege to nurture within the University. I know from their commitment and dedication that our students will go on to achieve great things.

One of the things I enjoy most about my role as President is being able to engage directly with so many members of our surgical community.

Next month, I look forward to meeting many of you at our Doing the Rounds Roadshow in the Midlands on Wednesday, 19 April 2023. I hope as many surgical Fellows and Members, Trainees and NCHDs working in Tullamore, Roscommon, Mullingar, Portlaoise, Nenagh and Ballinasloe as possible will meet with us in Tullamore so we can listen to your views and hear your concerns about local issues. By being fully informed, we will be able to support you better.

RCSI has launched a new eLogbook for NCHDs registered on the Continuous Professional Development Support Scheme. This has been developed to provide surgical NCHDs in non-training positions in Ireland with access to the same electronic logbook as surgical trainees in core and higher surgical training programmes. 

This service is available free of charge and has been specifically designed by RCSI to support NCHDs in building their surgical careers. It is part of our commitment to help everyone who works in the provision of surgical care to patients in Ireland and I hope all NCHDs will avail of this valuable tool.

The first of our Surgical Matters webinars on 'Prioritising Conversations around the Emotional Impact of Working in Healthcare' introduced by Council Member Ms Margaret O’Donnell and chaired by Professor Eva Doherty, Director of Human Factors in Patient Safety at RCSI took place last month. It’s a topic that isn’t talked about enough, yet one that affects each and every one of us, whether or not we like to admit it.

The next webinar in the series is on 'The Future of Scheduled and Unscheduled Care' and takes place on Wednesday, 17 May.

A huge thank you to all who supported the coffee morning held across three RCSI campus locations to raise funds for those affected by the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria. To date almost €5,500 has been raised by staff and students demonstrating our solidarity and support for those most affected. All donations go directly to Irish Red Cross Earthquake Emergency Appeal.

I very much look forward to seeing many of you at events both on campus and off in the coming months.

With best wishes,

Professor Laura Viani
RCSI President