Queen Mary Alumni

Student Futures: Surgical Skills for Students

“In September 2020, I attended a Surgical Skills for Students course, held at King’s College Hospital and hosted by the Royal College of Surgeons. The course objectives were to learn safe methods of performing simple surgical techniques and have hands-on experience in practising these techniques. Support from alumni has helped fund this course which I’m grateful for.”

Hana Mahmood, 4th Year Medicine 

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"I’m a fourth-year medical student and have a strong interest in pursuing a career in surgery so I was very excited to attend the Surgical Skills for Students course. To help prepare us for the course, the course instructor gave students a handbook and a CD covering, in detail, the different surgical techniques we will be learning.

"On the day, I was given a safety and instrument debrief before handling any surgical instruments. Therefore, I was able to identify the specific uses of the different surgical instruments whilst observing the procedures. We then watched demonstrations of the different knot-tying techniques, before seeing a physical demonstration by one of the tutors. Finally, we had an opportunity to demonstrate these techniques on models before receiving one-on-one feedback from experienced surgeons. It was incredibly refreshing to receive tailored feedback from professional medical staff. The feedback helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses which I hope to work on for the future.

"One of my favourite elements of the course was getting the opportunity to excise a sebaceous cyst from a model before closing the wound with my newly learnt suturing skills. The tutors were very encouraging and provided a supportive learning environment. Overall, this course has boosted my confidence significantly and equipped me with the skills to better myself as a medical student.

"The pandemic has made it difficult to take part in placements and gain practical skills as a medical student. I was so pleased to have received the grant from our generous alumni that has enabled me to take part in the course. The funds have helped me cover the cost of the course, my travel and my membership for the Royal College of Surgeons. Although the course was delayed by several months due to the pandemic, I am thankful that was able to attend and complete the sessions safely under social distancing measures.

"This experience has given me an abundance of knowledge and I am extremely eager to get into theatres during my medical degree. I feel prepared and excited to expand my knowledge of surgical techniques. I am incredibly grateful for being awarded this grant which helped cover the cost of the course. Thank you!"