8 June 2023
Dear Fellows and Members,
I am so happy to finally welcome the warm weather to Ireland, marking summer and a season of conferring celebration at RCSI. Summer also marks my one-year anniversary as President of RCSI. I have greatly appreciated the opportunities I have had to engage with the surgical community in Ireland and further afield. These conversations have really helped me in ensuring I am focusing on the issues that are of greatest concern to the community.
Since June 2022, I have travelled to Australia, Bahrain, USA and Africa. I have been really proud to hear more about what, through collaboration, RCSI surgical Fellows and Members have achieved to improve healthcare both at home and abroad.
As Ireland’s professional surgical body, RCSI’s role is to drive the profession forward and support surgical Fellows and Members in achieving excellent surgical care for everyone. A recent census shows that there are more than 11,000 RCSI Fellows and Members and 1,700 Affiliate Members – a powerful community across 89 countries globally.
RCSI’s purpose is to educate, assess and develop surgeons and members of the wider surgical community at all stages of their careers, and to set and safeguard standards for the optimisation of delivery of care to surgical patients. Earlier this year, the College launched the RCSI Surgery for Ireland Report, outlining a number of key recommendations on how to create a better working environment, and how to optimise the training, recruitment and retention of staff.
RCSI attracts the most highly committed candidates to surgical training. RCSI Fellows, of whom we are immensely proud, are dedicated to a lifetime in healthcare, and we are fortunate in maintaining a lifelong, career-long connection with them.
With career-long connection in mind, we recently celebrated final Medicine Results Day and Conferring for the class of 2023. It was wonderful to see the students’ joy and celebration (and undoubtedly relief!) captured on the front page of The Irish Times.
On 11 June, 20 Fellows and Members will be conferred at the RCSI Fellows, Members, and Diplomates Conferring in Penang and I look forward to welcoming over 110 new surgical Fellows and Members to the Summer Conferring in RCSI Dublin on 3 July. I am proud and pleased to be presenting the Fellowship and Membership awards to this talented next generation of surgeons, a wonderful achievement and testament to the excellent quality of RCSI training and the calibre of surgeons we nurture.
Current waiting times for surgery in Ireland remain a challenge for the health service. That is why we welcomed the announcement from the Minister for Health that sites have been selected for new surgical hubs. We hope that the expansion of elective surgical services, through these new hubs, will help improve access to timely scheduled surgical care for patients and increase much-needed surgical capacity in Ireland.
In Ireland, collaboration is the ‘raison d'être' for our RCSI ‘Doing the Rounds’ Roadshows and I hope to welcome our Fellows, Members, and trainees in the Midlands to Tullamore for our ‘Doing the Rounds’ meeting on Thursday, 22 June, an opportunity for me to meet with you and learn about how the College can support you in your surgical practice and to listen to your concerns about local issues. I really look forward to seeing you there – you can register for the event here.
In keeping connection, I urge you to read this issue of Surgeons Scope which celebrates a number of internationally recognised Fellows and Members who maintain strong links with RCSI and celebrates their achievements internationally. Print copies of Surgeons Scope are distributed without charge to Fellows and Members in Good Standing. Current articles and archives are made available to you online through this Surgical Bulletin newsletter. Please keep in touch with us and update us on your achievements so that we can share these with the rest of the community.
Finally, I hope you manage to take some time over these next few months with family and friends, and to those of you in the northern hemisphere, that you get to enjoy some much-needed sunshine.
With best wishes,
Professor Laura Viani