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surgical skills and gave RCSI the opportunity to interact with
aspiring surgeons of the future. Students competed in a
range of surgical challenges, from suturing and knot-tying to
undertaking keyhole surgery skills tests.
Regional heats took place in the preceding three months
across the six medical schools in Ireland ­ RCSI, University
of Limerick, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork,
University College Dublin and NUI Galway, with 12 students
(two from each medical school) chosen to go through to the
The competition provides valuable practical experience to
support the early skills development of the aspiring surgeons
of tomorrow. The inaugural competition has been a great
success and will be part of the annual surgical calendar.
The overall winner was 23-year-old Dómhnall O'Connor, an
NUI Galway medical student, from Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
Dómhnall demonstrated exceptional surgical skills in
disciplines such as camera manipulation, object orientation
and stacking.
The National Surgical Skills Competition is part of a broader
RCSI initiative to actively engage with students in all six
undergraduate medical schools. Liaising closely with the
Surgical Societies at each of the medical schools, RCSI is
building ever-stronger links by supporting a range of events
at each of the schools with sessions such as `A Day in the Life
of a Surgeon', which familiarises students with the realities of
surgical work.
This engagement process aims to inform and support
students so that when they embark on their intern year they
are equipped with the skills, publications and qualifications
to deal with a robust training process. The new training
programme, in common with the US training model, doesn't
provide trainees with a `tasting menu' of specialty options.
Thus, early engagement with students through a range
of events including the National Skills Competition, is an
important part of preparing prospective surgical trainees for
the requirements of the new programme.
As part of RCSI's ongoing commitment to educational
innovation, the College launched SurgiQuiz, a new
free app for iPhone and iPad, at the Millin Meeting in
November 2014. The app, developed by the Department
of Surgical Affairs in conjunction with the Department of
Anatomy, tests medical knowledge and offers surgeons and
medical professionals the opportunity to gain continuous
professional development credits.
SurgiQuiz has 3,000 questions which should be challenging
even to practising surgeons. Users can answer the questions
against the clock in different categories, or just use the
practice mode to brush up on a topic. Also, users can
compete to get their name on a global leaderboard, tracking
the participants with the highest scores.
An Android version is currently in development.
NUI Galway's Dómhnall O'Connor, winner of the first
National Surgical Skills Competition.
Finalists in the National Surgical Skills Competition from the six medical schools
in Ireland pictured with staff from RCSI's Department of Surgical Affairs.
Surgeons try out SurgiQuiz at the launch which took place at the
Millin Meeting in November.