Future Surgeons: Key Skills

Key Facts

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Future Surgeons: Key Skills 

This one-day course was designed to address the lack of structured basic surgical skills training courses for medical students intending to follow a career in surgery. It aims to introduce participants to these safe basic surgical techniques that are common to all surgical practices.

(Attendance at this course, will give you the opportunity to apply for a one-year FREE Affiliate Membership with RCSEd)


Medical Students (third to final year) and FY1 doctors.

Course Format

This is a practical course with a high tutor-to-participant ratio. It is delivered using a series of tutor demonstrations and hands-on sessions where participants work on animal tissue. Tuition and supervision is provided throughout the course by expert surgeons.

Course Objectives

This one-day course was designed to address a lack of structured basic surgical skills training courses for medical students intending to follow a career in surgery. It aims to introduce participants to safe basic surgical techniques that are common to all surgical practices.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Demonstrate safe practice when gowning and gloving
  • Handle commonly used surgical instruments in a safe and effective manner
  • Create secure 'reef' and 'surgeon's' knots
  • Pick up and safely drive a needle through tissue with accurate bite placement
  • Perform an interrupted suture to close a wound
  • Demonstrate the steps for excising a skin lesion under local anaesthesia
  • Excise a sebaceous cyst
  • Drain a superficial abscess
  • Perform the steps to debride a traumatic wound
  • Perform basic techniques used for endoscopy
  • Explain the principles of using safe diathermy


Costs for this course begin at £140 and vary depending on the location. Contact the Education Department for more details.

Course Director

Mr Geoffrey Hooper

Location Specific Details


Course Fee: £110

Course Fee - RCSEd Affiliate Members: £99.00


To book a place on this course please contact Ogston Surgical Society, University of Aberdeen:

Email: ogstonmedia@gmail.com


To book a place on this course please contact Doctors Academy Manchester

Email: courses@doctorsacademy.org.uk

Phone: 02920 6161 765 

Arrowe Park Hospital Wirral

To book a place on this course please contact Doctors Academy (Wirral Key Skills)

Email: courses@doctorsacademy.org.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 2920 616 765

Website:  https://doctorsacademy.org/CourseNw/KeySkillsC/index.php


To book a place on this course please contact Doctors Academy Wales:

Email: courses@doctorsacademy.org.uk

Phone: 02920 6161 765

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any pre-course materials for this course?

Yes there is pre-course material available for this course and this will be emailed to you three to four weeks prior to the course.

How do I contact the Education Section?

The Education Section is open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.  If you wish to contact a member of the team please see contact details below:

Education mailbox:  education@rcsed.ac.uk

Phone number:  0131 527 1600

Will I receive CPD?

All RCSEd educational activity is awarded CPD hours. Please see individual course for specific award.

Will I receive a Certificate?

Yes, RCSEd Certificates of Attendance are awarded for all educational courses and are handed out at the end of the course (however, please note that where an event has a PASS or FAIL this will be posted to you after the event). 

What is RCSEd’s course cancellation policy?
  1. What happens if RCSEd cancels a course I am booked on?
  2. On occasion, RCSEd may need to cancel a course, for example if we are affected by an event out with our control or if it is not financially viable for us to deliver the course. If we do need to cancel, we will let you know as soon as possible and provide you with a full refund of course fees paid.

RCSEd shall incur no further liability (eg. travel or accommodation costs). You may wish to consider taking out appropriate travel insurance for any non-refundable costs you may incur when arranging to attend the course.

  1. What happens if I need to cancel my place on a course I am booked?
  2. If you cancel your place more than four weeks before the event date, you will incur an administration fee of 10% (or £50, whichever is greater) of the total course fee. NB: For course fees £250 and under, the cancellation fee is £30)

If you cancel your place less than four weeks before the course date, once the course has started, or you do not notify us, the total course fee will be charged, and no refund will be given.

Please also note that you cannot transfer your place on a Course to someone else.  This is because many of our courses have a waiting list, and we have an obligation to honour this.

  1. Can I cancel a course booking online?
  2. NO, cancellations must be made directly with the education team by email (education@rcsed.ac.uk).
  3. Can I transfer to another date for the same course?
  4. YES, you can transfer to another date by contacting the Education section directly (education@rcsed.ac.uk). Please note that you can transfer only once and transfers can only be made if more than 4 weeks prior to the start of the course, without incurring additional costs.  Should you cancel again, no refund shall be given.

Should you have any further questions, the Education Team can be contacted on 0131 527 1600 or by email to education@rcsed.ac.uk.

How do I book a place on an RCSEd course?

You can book a place for all our courses by visiting the RCSEd website, and selecting the course you wish to book.  Please note that you will need to register with the website in order to book.

For some regional and international courses you will need to book directly with the centre.  Please check individual courses for details.

You can also contact the Education Section by phone to book (0131 527 1600).

What payment methods do RCSEd accept?

Visa and MasterCard are accepted on the RCSEd website and over the phone to the education team.

All course bookings will receive a booking confirmation email:  this email acts as your receipt.

Request an Invoice:  If your course fees will be paid by a third party (eg trust, hospital, charitable fund) and they wish to be invoiced then they must provide us with an official purchase order.  We are unable to process applications without this.

The purchase order should be submitted with the application form and can be emailed to education@rcsed.ac.uk.  Please note that we can only invoice organisations and not individuals.  Please check with your hospital or trust, as some may require you to pay yourself and then claim the money back.

Do I receive a discount if I am a Member of RCSEd?

A 10% discount is applied to all educational courses and events organised directly through RCSEd, for Members, Fellows, Associates and Affiliates.

Are you able to help me with my VISA application?

YES, RCSEd can provide you with a Visa support letter confirming the course details and fees paid by you.  This is only possible once you have booked your place on a course and RCSEd have received the full course fee.

If a course is fully booked what can I do? Is there a waiting list?

If a course appears full and you wish to be placed on a waiting list then please contact the education team directly by email education@rcsed.ac.uk or phone 0131 527 1600.

Do you provide lunch or refreshments?

YES, for all educational courses, refreshments are served throughout the day and lunch is provided if the duration is one day or more.

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Get in touch

If you have any questions about this course, please contact us and a member of our Education team will be happy to help you.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Phone: +44 (0)131 527 1600
Fax: +44 (0)131 557 6406

Email: education@rcsed.ac.uk