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Record Numbers Attend RCSI Charter Day meetings

More than 450 surgeons attended the annual RCSI Charter Day meetings in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland which took place between Friday 8th and Saturday 9th February. In total 50 leading national and international speakers gave lectures over the two days on a wide range of surgical topics.

The first day kicked off with five speciality parallel sessions focussing on trauma and orthopaedics, colorectal surgery, neurosurgery, ENT & plastics and urology. This year's Johnson & Johnson lecture was given by Prof Ralph G. Dacey, Jnr, Chairman of Neurosurgery, Washington University Hospital, Missouri. Prof Dacey's lecture focused on "Training Surgeons for the 21st Century: Current Challenges for Surgical Educators." In 2004, Prof Dacey along with two of his colleagues established a two way resident rotation between Neurosurgery in Beaumont Hospital and Barnes Hospital in Washington University. Neurosurgery residents from the United States and Ireland rotate between the departments every six months. To date, 24 US and four Irish residents have exchanges on this very successful programme.

The afternoon plenary session addressed "Infection and the Surgeon: Current and future challenges". Later in the afternoon Professor Patrick Broe, RCSI President gave his Presidential Address to Fellows and Members. Prof Broe said "As part of my Presidential agenda, my number one item is to shorten the duration of surgical training in Ireland. A lot of work has been done to date to implement these changes and we plan to launch the new programme in July 2013. One of the most crucial changes to the programme is the elimination of the gap years between Basic and Higher Surgical Training."

"There is still considerable work to be done in terms of clarifying selection criteria, establishing robust methodologies of assessment and identifying high quality training posts, but it is intended that the new training paradigm will place the trainee centrally in all clinical operative and scientific pursuits within the surgical department," Prof Broe continued.

Charter Day continued on Friday evening when Professor Michael Solomon, a graduate of RCSI and Professor of Surgery at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia gave the 88th Abraham Colles Lecture on "The Evolution of Radical Pelvic Exenteration".

On Saturday 9th, the Irish Higher Surgical Training Group (IHSTG) held their annual meeting. The topic for discussion was surgical training and mentorship and the meeting discussed further the new surgical training pathway.

On Saturday evening, Professor's Dacey and Solomon were presented with Honorary Fellowships of the College. Reading Professor Solomon's citation, RCSI Council Member Professor P. Ronan O'Connell said "Michael has published widely with more than 200 publications on all aspects of colorectal surgery, focusing particularly on clinical outcomes and quality of life. Michael is considered a world authority on exenterative techniques, and yet, in the midst of such great achievements it is his humility and humanity that come through his writings and teaching."

Reading Prof Dacey's citation, RCSI Council Member Mr Ken Mealy said "Dr. Dacey is internationally recognised for his contributions to the understanding and treatment of conditions affecting the blood vessels in and around the brain. In 1998 he performed the first human magnetic neurological surgery." Prof Broe said "The RCSI Charter Day meetings are held to commemorate the establishment of RCSI by Royal Charter on 11th February 1784. The meetings provide the surgical community with an opportunity to come together and discuss the challenges, issues and new developments within surgery. This year we have the largest number of attendees at Charter Day and it is great to see such interest and enthusiasm for the meeting." 

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