|Moulding plastic surgeons of the future|
|Thursday, 01 April 2010|
Hiteshkumar Tailor reports from the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons’ Undergraduate Plastic Surgery Day, held at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, December 2009
A cold December morning saw the Royal College of Surgeons of England host well over 100 medical students from across the country for the Undergraduate Plastic Surgery Day. Held by the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) for its third consecutive year, its continuing success was proven by a packed lecture theatre.
Following a warm welcome by Mr David Ward (Leicester), students were treated to a rather graphic talk by Professor Peter Butler (London) who is world-renowned for his work in facial transplantation surgery. He presented an insight to his research, highlighting the ethical issues surrounding his work and unravelling the many false claims presented by the media. This was followed by Mr Tom Cochrane, senior consultant and medical officer to the famous ‘Guinea Pig Club’ of WWII veterans, who required plastic surgery following injury on the battle-front.
Mr Andrew Batchelor (Leeds) spoke about aesthetic surgery – an area many associate with the term ‘plastic surgery’. He highlighted that such patients are usually from a specific demographic, and that offering them surgery is perhaps controversial given the great imbalance of the risk to benefit ratio. Following on from this, Mr Hiroshi Nishikawa (Birmingham) presented his experience in surgery for congenital facial deformities.
Next was an interactive session by Mr James Partridge, Founder and CEO of ‘Changing Faces’, and Ms Gemma Borwick, Training Advisor. They provided an overview of their organisation and how their charity helps individuals with facial disfigurements. Mr Brendan Eley from ‘The Healing Foundation’ finished the morning session with a video of how research has changed the lives of many individuals.
Throughout the day, students were assigned groups to embark on suturing tutorials where they were taught skills ranging from the basic interrupted sutures to more adventurous subcutaneous and mattress suture techniques. A prize was awarded to the student shown to have made the most progress in their suturing skills.
The afternoon lectures were more career-orientated, with Ms Barbara Jemec (London) and Mr Tim Goodacre (Oxford) discussing their experiences of working abroad. Representing female surgeons was Ms Joy Odili (London), who provided an overview of both breast reconstruction and hand surgery. Hand surgery is an expanding field and sparked some interesting debate regarding the crossover with orthopaedic surgery.
Lastly, Miss Vivien Lees (Manchester) provided a discussion of career pathways in plastic surgery and advice on how to enhance the student CV with an aim of Plastic Surgery as a career.
The event was a huge success in providing students with an introduction to plastic surgery and in improving their knowledge. Having some of the leading plastic surgeons in the country, if not in the world, discussing their careers and experiences was hugely motivational.
Hiteshkumar Tailor, Medical Student,