JCU Medical School students form Surgical Interest Group

28 August 2014

The Surgical Interest Group (SIG) at JCU Medical School was formed in 2014 by a group of surgically-minded students.
The SIG is now linked to a wider Australian university network of student surgical groups and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. It aims to organise events and information sessions for medical students in all years of the course who are interested in finding out more about the specialty.

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The collaborative group has already hosted two events in 2014—a careers night and surgical skills competition—and wants to bring more surgical opportunities and knowledge to JCU medical students.
At present, the group has no formal governance structure and is organised by a group of nine students interested in surgery.
One of the committee members, Tom O’Donohoe, said the group is by no means exclusive to students in clinical years and encouraged all medical students to get involved in the group’s events.
“We were pleasantly surprised with the success of our first event, the careers night, which we hoped would benefit students with an interest in surgery as well as those who haven’t made their minds up about a future career path,” Mr O’Donohoe said.
“One consultant and two registrars from the Townsville Hospital came to the Padua lecture theatre to share their experiences and then take a question-and-answer session from the audience.
“They spoke about the positives and negatives of a surgical career, what training is involved, what made them want to be a surgeon and what students can do to develop their interest in surgery, among other things.
“It can be a little overwhelming when there are so many options available to you as a medical student, so the Surgical Interest Group is helping provide information for students to help them in making what is a difficult decision about their future career.”
The surgical skills event was organised by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, who provided pig trotters and laparoscopic equipment to assess students’ proficiency at a range of skills.
The inaugural competition began in 2013 and was only held at Griffith University and the University of Queensland in the state of Queensland.
The establishment of JCU Medical School’s Surgical Interest Group meant the College was able to extend the competition to students in the north, a coup for budding surgeons looking to gain face to face time with College members.
The committee of the Surgical Interest Group can be reached at surgicalsociety@gmail.com.

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