|The land of smiles|
|Tuesday, 28 August 2012|
The President and members of Council recently travelled to Thailand for a joint scientific meeting with the Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand (RCST). The meeting discussed ‘Holistic Care of Surgical Patients’ and celebrated RCST’s 37th Annual Scientific Congress International Forum on Surgical Education and Training: The Training of Tomorrow’s Surgeons
The first day of the joint scientific congress was given over to a number of specialist workshops to which members of the Edinburgh College party made significant contributions.
In his opening address, RCSEd President David Tolley focused on themes of change that produced resonance throughout the Congress. The Congress brought together a senior group of expert contributors from Asia who were joined by others from Australia and the USA, as well as the UK. The first focus of the training forum was an ‘Overview of Teaching and Learning in a Changing Environment’, with reviews of local progress in training and curriculum development from across the world.
The second conference theme ‘Curriculum development, surgical competence and assessment’ was chaired by RCSEd Vice President Ian Ritchie and Prof Tanaphon Maipang. In this theme, specific developments such as electronic logbooks and procedure-based assessment tools were set into the context of surgical competence and curriculum design. The assertion from RCSEd Senior Educational Adviser, David Pitts’ presentation that ‘one size never fits all’ was well-received and resonated with views from across the region that whilst collaboration was essential, the quest for a single curriculum across Asia was unlikely to be successful in the foreseeable future.
David Tolley and Assist. Prof Thanyadej Nimmanwudipong, Chair of the RCST Education Committee chaired the final panel discussion session on ‘How to improve Surgical Education and Training Globally’. Ian Ritchie and David Pitts joined panellists from Australia, Malaysia and the USA to debate some of the key issues facing surgical education in changing times on the global stage.
Princess of Thailand honoured by RCSEd
RCSEd was delighted, while at the Congress, to have awarded HRH Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand with an RCSEd Honorary Fellowship, on Friday 3 August 2012, in recognition of the contribution she has made to education and health in Thailand.
HRH in her opening address, in English, impressively illustrated the role the Thai Royal Family has played in the encouragement of healthcare developments and efforts in disaster relief in their own country and internationally.
The Congress brought together a senior group of expert contributors from Asia who were joined by others from Australia and the USA, as well as the UK.
On presenting the honour, Mr David Tolley said: “The Honorary Fellowship of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is the highest honour which the College can bestow and we are delighted to have presented this accolade to Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, on the occasion of the joint meeting between our two Colleges.
“In bestowing the Honorary Fellowship, the College recognises Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s considerable involvement in community development activities, particularly in the fields of health, hygiene and education. We also acknowledge her considerable humanitarian contribution to the people of Thailand, through her role as Executive Vice President of the Thai Red Cross Society for 25 years”.
The opening speech at the Congress by the RCST President, Prof Soottiporn Chittmittrapap again picked up the theme of change with remarks that were very much in harmony with those from David Tolley.
Training the Trainers
Prior to the commencement of the Congress, Vice President, Ian Ritchie and Senior Educational Adviser, David Pitts were joined by Council Member, Judy Evans to run a one-day training trainers programme in Bangkok on 31 July 2012. 23 Thai surgeons participated in the day with a wide variety of specialties represented.
Commenting on the success of the course, Dr Judy Evans said: “This was my first opportunity to attend the Training the Trainers course and the thing that most surprised me was how much fun it is!”
According to David Pitts, one of the course’s originators, The Thai people are famous for their smiling hospitality and this course was no exception. The use of humour is high risk in cross-cultural situations, but having fun in a course can be a very powerful stimulant to learning.
The 23 participants clearly found the course enjoyable and helpful, despite the extra work involved in listening to English throughout the day, and feedback in the course evaluation sheets expressed that “the course gave a refreshing view on how to make progress on graduate training” and was “a practical professional approach with open-minded communication”.
The local organisation for the event was done by Lt. Gen. Nopadol Wora Urai and his team at the RCST, whose efforts laid the foundation for the course’s success.