Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI to launch Code of Practice for Surgeons at annual Charter Day Meeting

02 February 2018
Code provides guidance to surgeons on dealing with situations where their ability to meet their professional obligations is compromised


A code of practice for surgeons will be launched today at the annual RCSI Charter Day Meeting. Developed by RCSI, the professional training body for surgery in Ireland, the 
Code of Practice for Surgeons aims to consolidate the national guidelines which surgeons are obliged to follow. It also provides guidance on how a surgeon should deal with a situation where they feel their ability to meet their professional responsibilities is compromised.

According to RCSI President Professor John Hyland, "Supporting surgeons in their professional practice is at the core of our responsibility as the professional training body for surgery in Ireland. Surgical care is now being delivered in a very complex and rapidly changing environment. It is neither possible nor desirable to produce a ‘rule book' that covers every situation. Instead, we have set out to articulate a straight-forward set of principles that surgeons can use to inform their own practice."

The Code also provides guidance to surgeons on what they can do when they feel their ability to meet their professional responsibilities is compromised. Professor Hyland explained that "it is appropriate that high professional standards are expected of surgeons. Increasingly complex demands in a challenging healthcare environment, are, however, putting surgeons under considerable pressure, resulting in burnout for some, and in others opting out of working on-call or choosing to retire early. This Code seeks to acknowledge this reality and provide guidance which helps surgeons in their everyday practice."

The Code will be launched by RCSI President John Hyland at the College's annual Charter Day Meeting which brings together over 500 members of Ireland's surgical community.

A discussion on the impact of the National Cancer Strategy will include contributions from Mr Patrick Cafferty, National Cancer Control Programme, Prof Deborah McNamara, National Clinical Programme for Surgery at RCSI and Consultant General Surgeon at Beaumont Hospital and Mr Eamonn Rogers, Clinical Advisor for Urology at RCSI and Consultant Urologist at University Hospital Galway.

The annual Johnson and Johnson lecture will be delivered by Professor Shafi Ahmed on the Future of Surgery. Prof Ahmed is Consultant Surgeon and Co-founder, Virtual Medics and Medical Realities.

A session on medico-legal practice will explore the challenges faced by surgeons when they are asked to provide expert reports to state agencies, insurers, coroners and the courts, as well as the occasional requirement for a surgeon to give evidence in court.

How Inequality Kills will be the subject of this year's Abraham Colles Lecture. The lecture will be delivered by Dr David Ansell, Senior Vice President, Community Health Equity, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago.

The RCSI Charter Day Meetings are held annually to commemorate the foundation of RCSI by a Royal Charter granted by King George III on 11 February 1784.

RCSI is ranked among the top 250 (top 2%) of universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2018) and its research is ranked first in Ireland for citations. It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide. RCSI is a signatory of the Athena SWAN Charter.

The full Charter Day programme is available here.