Swansea student to compete in national surgical skills competition final
Daniel Sitaranjan, a fourth year College of Medicine student from Swansea University, has won the Wales heat of a nationwide surgical skills competition run by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd).
He will now go to the Grand Final in Edinburgh, where he will compete to win a trip to Johnson & Johnson’s skills centre in Hamburg, Germany.
The Lister Surgical Skills Competition has been organised by RCSEd in association with Johnson & Johnson Medical Companies to commemorate the life and contribution of Lord Joseph Lister, 100 years after his death.
A former Fellow of RCSEd, Lister was world-renowned for his groundbreaking work in the prevention of wound infection, which contributed greatly to the advancement of surgical standards and led to Lister becoming known as ‘the father of modern surgery’.
The skills competition has brought medical students from across the UK together to demonstrate their surgical skills in a series of heats over the last two months, as they attempted to reach the Grand Final of the competition, which takes place in Edinburgh on 11 February 2012, as part of the Lister Centenary Celebrations.
Daniel and the other regional heat winners are being provided with a travel and accommodation package to come to the College for the Final. As the principal sponsor of the Lister Centenary Celebrations, Johnson & Johnson is offering the prize of a trip to its European Surgical Training Institute in Hamburg for the overall winner, with The Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) awarding the runner-up with free student membership until they qualify as a doctor, as well as a £50 voucher for its restaurant.
At the Wales heat, 16 students from Cardiff University and Swansea University with an interest in pursuing a career in surgery competed in four surgical skills tests: knot tying, suturing, cyst removal and laparoscopy. John Mason was the runner-up, winning a year’s student membership of RSM. All participants received a year’s student affiliation to RCSEd.
The Wales heat was run by Mr Angus Robertson, who is one of RCSEd’s Regional Surgical Advisers for the area and is a Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon at the University Hospital of Wales.
He said: “As medical students have to make earlier career choices, I think it is important that we try and attract those with both high academic ability and technical skills into surgery. The Royal College of Surgeons of Surgeons of Edinburgh is highly committed to these vital attributes both during training and consultant practice.
“Through this competition and an associated academic meeting, Welsh medical students have had the opportunity to showcase their skills and demonstrate their commitment to what is a highly competitive but rewarding profession. I believe that we are sending an excellent candidate to represent Wales in the final and i wish him the best in this and in his future career. I am sure Lister would be pleased to see his legacy celebrated in this way.”
Commenting on his victory, Daniel said: “When I was first announced as the winner I do not think I quite believed it! This competition has given me another reason to commit to my choice of surgery as a career by proving my suitability to its practical aspect and it is also nice to be recognised for something I have developed as an extracurricular activity and I hope that future employers will look favourably upon this.
“Simply going to the final in the Edinburgh is a real privilege. RCSEd is a world-renowned organisation that will open a number of opportunities to the budding surgeon, such as this competition and other events they are holding to commemorate the life of Lord Lister. I am very excited for the final. I hope that I have the skill and a steady enough hand to win! It will be a real reward to go abroad as a result of my surgical skills ability. Taking part in this competition has been a great experience in my very immature surgical career and I hope it continues to get better!”