Med student wins national surgical prize

A MEDICAL student from Queens University Belfast has won a UK-wide surgical skills competition run by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Third year Jamie Clements, 21, from Lisburn won the Student Surgical Skills Competition, beating 19 grand finalists from across the UK. He demonstrated “exceptional skills” in surgical techniques such as knee arthroscopy, anatomy, cross infection control and laparoscopy.

Second place was awarded to fourth year medical student, 24-year-old Daniel Lin from the University of Warwick.

The final was held at the Royal College’s 500-year-old Edinburgh headquarters.

Jamie’s prize, sponsored by Johnson and Johnson Medical Companies, will be a two-day trip to their European Surgical Training Institute in Hamburg where he will undertake further practical hands-on surgical skills training, as well as shadowing and interacting with delegates in a programme designed specifically for him.

Jamie said he was “a combination of ecstatic and surprised” at winning the top prize which tested “new and difficult skills.

“The arthroscopy was the first station of the morning – I knew what arthroscopy was, but to actually get to do it was a great experience,” he said.

“I found the anatomy station very challenging. I’m very used to spot tests - in that you get a specimen and you tell them what it is - but when you have a consultant surgeon asking you what it is, it’s a very different experience.”

He added that becoming an affiliate of the RCSEd had opened up a wide range of opportunities.

RCSEd president Mr Ian Ritchie said: “It was fantastic to witness this generation of medical students’ vibrant enthusiasm for surgery.

“The winner, Jamie Clements, stood out by showing flair and dexterity when he undertook the surgical challenges set for him. I am confident - should he so choose – that he will have a promising career as surgeon.

“All the finalists of the competition were outstanding, and now that they are Affiliates with The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, we look forward to guiding and supporting these aspiring doctors, where we can, on their journey towards a rewarding career in surgery.”

Last year’s surgical skills competition winner was University of Warwick student Mark Mobley, 31, from Birmingham, while second place was awarded to fourth year student Mudit Matanhelia from St George’s University, London.

The 2012 competition was organised to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of surgical pioneer Lord Joseph Lister.