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Queen's University Belfast Medical Student a Cut Above the Rest

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12 Mar 2013

L-R Skills Comp runner-up Daniel Lin, RCSEd President Mr Ian Ritchie and Skills Comp Winner, Jamie Clements

A medical student from the Queen's University Belfast has won a UK-wide surgical skills competition run by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) at the grand final held at the 500-year-old College on Saturday 9 March 2013.

Third year medical student, 21-year-old Jamie Clements from Lisburn, won the Student Surgical Skills Competition after he competed in the Grand Final in Edinburgh against 19 other regional finalists from across the UK and demonstrated exceptional skills in surgical techniques such as knee arthroscopy, anatomy, cross infection control and laparoscopy. Second place was awarded to fourth year medical student, 24-year-old Daniel Lin from the University of Warwick.

Sponsored by Johnson and Johnson Medical Companies, Jamie's prize will be a two-day trip to their European Surgical Training Institute in Hamburg where he will get the opportunity to undertake further practical hands-on surgical skills training, as well as shadow and interact with delegates in a tailored programme designed specifically for him.

Explaining more about the competition, the President of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Mr Ian Ritchie said:

"The RCSEd Student Surgical Skills Competition is a magnificent opportunity for medical students to join us at the College to showcase their surgical skills and gain valuable surgical experience they would not necessarily have received at medical school. It was fantastic to witness this generation of medical students' vibrant enthusiasm for surgery. 

"The winner, Jamie Clements, stood out by showing flair and dexterity when he undertook the surgical challenges set for him. I am confident - should he so choose - that he will have a promising career as surgeon. All the finalists of the competition were outstanding, and now that they are Affiliates with The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, we look forward to guiding and supporting these aspiring doctors, where we can, on their journey towards a rewarding career in surgery."

Commenting on winning the Grand Final of the competition, Jamie Clements said:

Jamie Clements"I feel a combination of ecstatic and surprised! There were some new and difficult skills being tested at the Final that I had never experienced before, but I suppose everyone was in the same boat. I'm just overwhelmed that I won!

"The arthroscopy was the first station of the morning - I knew what arthroscopy was, but to actually get to do it was a great experience. I found the anatomy station very challenging - I'm very used to spot tests - in that you get a specimen and you tell them what it is - but when you have a consultant surgeon asking you what it is, it's a very different experience.

"I can't wait now to go to the Johnson and Johnson Surgical Training Institute in Hamburg. The experience and training I will obtain from such an opportunity is inestimable and an experience that not many people get. In terms of future career and building up my portfolio and CV, I'm certainly heading in the right direction for a career in surgery.

"I'm quite overcome by the amount of opportunities that are now available to me through this competition and affiliating with RCSEd. If I had known from the off what doors can be opened by becoming an Affiliate of RCSEd, I would have tried to become an affiliate of RCSEd earlier in my medical training.

"My thanks to the RCSEd Outreach Team and all those involved in organising the competition.

"It has been great to meet other medical students and share experiences of other medical courses at other universities. I've learnt so much from the experience which I will take back to Belfast with me. It's been amazing."

Mark Thomas, Director of Professional Education, Johnson & Johnson Medical Limited said:

"Johnson and Johnson Medical Companies is delighted to partner with The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for the 2012/2013 Surgical Skills Competition.  We believe this unique event provides valuable practical experience to support the early skill development of the aspiring surgeons of tomorrow. Many congratulations to all the students who competed in the Grand Final. We look forward to welcoming the winner, Jamie Clements, to our European Surgical Institute in Hamburg to participate in a tailored surgical skills educational programme which we believe will be an inspirational learning experience in preparation for their future surgical career".

To view images from the 2013 Student Surgical Skills Competition Grand Final, please visit our Facebook page.

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