It is my pleasure as RCSI President to welcome you to the latest edition of the RCSI Trainer eZine. COVID-19 continues to dominate all aspects of our professional and personal lives. Fortunately, so far our hospital system has continued to cope with the upsurge in COVID-19 cases and most scheduled care has returned to near normal levels.
Data presented by Orla Hennessy and Doireann Joyce during the recent webinar hosted by the Irish Surgical Training Group showed that in most disciplines working hours and numbers of cases are close to pre-COVID-19 levels, albeit with an overall year on year decrease in operative experience to July 2020 of approximately 20%. RCSI is acutely aware of the current issues in the delivery of surgical training continues to work with the HSE to try to ensure on-going access to training cases for trainees.
The successful holding of MRCSI part A in September and part B in October was a major achievement for which we all are indebted to the staff in Surgical Affairs, SARA and the examinations office in RCSI. The final Intercollegiate FRCS examinations were held with remote access through RCSI. At the time of writing, 17 candidates have taken the FRCS in trauma and orthopaedics and further examinations in General Surgery to follow this week. The remaining specialty FRCS examinations will take place over the rest of the month. The change in format is challenging for all concerned, however initial feedback is very positive and all are grateful that the exams will facilitate CCST certification for those in ST 7 and ST8.
Plans are well advanced to deliver a stimulating programme for the combined Millin and Charter meetings 2nd - 6th February next in what will effectively become a Charter Week programme. It may well be that this format will be adopted in future years avoiding an isolated Millin meeting in November. We will be looking for your feedback following the event.
I hope that by the time of the next eZine, we will have emerged from level 5 and that circumstances will have allowed family celebrations over the Christmas and New Year. I hope you all will have the opportunity to rest and to reflect with pride what you have achieved over the past most difficult of years.