A Cutting Edge Career
St Benedict's prospective medical students gained a valuable insight into surgical careers, at a fascinating Royal College of Surgeons conference on February 5th.
Delia Capatina, Lower 6th student and aspiring medic reports:
This term, I had the opportunity to attend the Royal College of Surgeons’ event, ‘Cutting Edge Careers’, held at the Nuffield School of Surgical Sciences Building, Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
The day started with the 'Life of a surgeon' talk, which gave much insight in what a surgical career is like, how to cope with unsuccessful events and how to balance a demanding career with family life.
It made me feel less intimidated by medical school and inspired me to look forward to the whole process of becoming a doctor. After this trip, medicine is definitely one of my first career options."
Following that, I had the opportunity to try a simulation of a laparoscopy. The operating room experience is considered insufficient for training and medical students are spending more time using immersive experience applications to hone their skills and expertise.
Later I began to learn how to tie surgical knots, much more dramatic than looping the laces on my trainers. After learning the fundamentals I started using a ‘knot-tying practice board’. The board consisted of shoelaces and a simulated surgical incision made of plastic and rubber bands. It is not as easy as I had first thought, but as the session was coming to a close I got the feeling that I was mastering the technique.
After the lunch break, a junior doctor shared her experience of medical school. I found this talk very useful, as it focused on the positive and negative aspects of a medical professional. Interestingly it gave me a real insight into the breadth of differing fields, travel possibilities, plus the sacrifices to be made missing Christmas, birthdays and other family occasions.
The last activity of the day was performing a basic suture. It was tricky, as to produce a safe and neat stitch is not an easy task and doctors need to be able to do it in high-pressure situations, but I enjoyed it. You need to push the needle through the skin in a scooping motion and pull it out the other side using the forceps.
Overall, I found the event very fun and useful. It gave much information about life as a healthcare professional and the process of becoming one. I loved performing the different procedures as it gave us the opportunity to practise, which is very important in medical school. It made me feel less intimidated by medical school and inspired me to look forward to the whole process of becoming a doctor. After this trip, medicine is definitely one of my first career options.
With thanks to Mrs O'Connor, Head of Chemistry and St Benedict's Medical Society, for leading this trip.