Roger Currie looks at the College’s growing Regional Surgical Adviser programme
The Regional Surgical Adviser (RSA) programme is continuing to expand and be a voice for the College, representing Fellows and Members in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. At present we have 36 RSAs throughout the UK, covering all surgical specialties with the exception of neurosurgery.
I am hopeful that by the Council meeting in May we will have reached 40, with all the SAC-recognised specialties represented. We are fortunate to have a diverse range of talent and experience within the RSA group, which includes a Postgraduate Dean and a number of Training programme and Foundation directors as well as many senior examiners.
Over the last year, RSAs have been involved in supporting the President and office bearers in country-wide meetings. These have included Belfast, Aberdeen, Plymouth, Newcastle and Cardiff, with further meetings scheduled for Cambridge and Preston in upcoming months.
These meetings allow local Fellows, Members and Affiliates to meet the office bearers and the local RSA. A major area where RSAs have been involved has been in linking with and supporting student surgical societies, such as in Dundee, London, Oxford, Liverpool, Bristol and Manchester. Medical Students and Foundation Doctors are keen to discover what the College has to offer and the College, through both RSAs and local Council members, has been happy to support these endeavours.
A competitive element was introduced in Wales last year with students from Cardiff and Swansea competing at a local event for the opportunity to present their research at the annual RCSEd Student Research Symposium in December 2011.
"We are fortunate to have a diverse range of talent and experience within the RSA group"
One RSA in Nottingham has taken a different path by running the Future Surgeons: Key Skills course followed by a relaxed Q&A session with students, which included takeaway pizza.
Further RSA roles have been developed including membership of the Policy Committee, representing the College on MEE working groups, local surgical training committees and an RCSEd seat on the AoMRC (Wales).
As a new and evolving group, many varied roles have been identified and RSAs have been encouraged to represent the College in the local environment.
In feedback reports from the RSAs it is interesting to note different themes being raised, which include training, how to get surgical jobs, WTR, revalidation and the Surgeons’ Portfolio. This variation is good as it confirms that the RSAs are interacting with all surgical generations from students to established consultants.
The RSA programme has evolved over the last number of years. In the past few months we have undergone some further evolution. Alastair Murray is now the Convenor with geographical responsibility for RSAs in Scotland and Northern Ireland, Jeyaram Srinivasan has been appointed Co-Convenor with responsibility for Northern England and Steven Backhouse Co-Convenor with responsibility for Wales and Southern England.
The driving force behind the RSA programme, the Vice President, Mr Ian Ritchie has taken a step back to concentrate on other duties and, as a Council member, I have assumed that responsibility.
The RSA programme is flourishing, vibrant and ready to expand. This would not be the case without the support of the office bearers and the College staff who support the RSAs in all of these activities.
Mr Roger Currie, Council member
New RSA appointments
• Vivek Chitre, Great Yarmouth, Consultant General Surgeon
• Martyn Flett, Glasgow, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon
• Milind Kulkarni, Norwich, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon
• Aileen McKinley, Aberdeen, Consultant General Surgeon
• Euan Munro, Aberdeen, Consultant General Surgeon
• Iain Paterson, Surrey, Consultant General Surgeon