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Changing of the Guard – New Office Bearers and Council Members Begin


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09 Nov 2018

At the Annual General Meeting on 9 November 2018 the College welcomed its new team of Office Bearers President Professor Michael Griffin OBE and Vice-Presidents Professor Rowan Parks and Mr Pala Rajesh. They replace Immediate Past President Professor Michael Lavelle-Jones and Vice-Presidents Professor John Duncan OBE and Professor Graham Layer. Mr Alistair Gibson was also announced as Honorary Treasurer, replacing the outgoing Richard Montgomery.

President Professor Michael Griffin OBE was a Consultant Surgeon with an Upper GI interest and Professor of Surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital. He developed the Northern Oesophago-Gastric Cancer Unit which is now the largest in Europe and North America and was Chair in Surgery at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. A Council member since 2009 to 2018, he was also Chairman of the Intercollegiate Board of General Surgery.

Professor Griffin stated:

“It is an enormous privilege to be elected as President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. It is a standout College, known for being approachable and welcoming. RCSEd is still leading the way in 2018 as it has done for the last 500 years.”

New Vice-President Professor Rowan Parks is Honorary Consultant Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. He is also Professor of Surgical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Commenting on his appointment, Professor Parks said:

“I am absolutely delighted and thrilled to be elected as Vice-President of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. I consider this an enormous honour and privilege. I am looking forward to working with the new Officer Bearer team and taking forward the College vision and strategy to ensure high professional standards in the delivery of surgical education and training, assessment and examinations, and in the provision of safe, high-quality surgical care.”

He has been appointed alongside Mr Pala Rajesh, the first Indian Vice-President to be elected to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in the College's 513-year history. Originally from Chennai in India, he was Consultant Thoracic Surgeon at the Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham prior to his recent retirement. 

Speaking on his election as the College's Vice-President-Elect Mr Pala Rajesh said:

"I am delighted to have been elected to serve as Vice-President of the oldest surgical college in the world. It is a great honour and privilege bestowed on me by members of the Council of the College. 

Mr Alastair Gibson is a Consultant Spinal Surgeon practising in Edinburgh, elected to Council in 2012. A College examiner for eight years, he has diverse interests in Clinical Research and Training with specialist expertise in minimally invasive surgery.

New Council Members include Messrs Ian Hawthorn, Zahid Raza and Sai Vittal; all will serve for one year. Professor Angus Watson took up a five year post to replace Faculty of Perioperative Care Lead Mr Charles Auld who retired from Council.

In the December 2018 edition of Surgeons’ News you can read an interview between demitting President Professor Michael Lavelle-Jones and new President Michael Griffin (Pass the Mike, p14-17) and profiles of Vice-Presidents Professor Rowan Parks and Mr Pala Rajesh (Meets the VPs, p18-19).


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