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RCSEd Appoints New Trainees' Representative Member Of Council

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15 Nov 2018

Britain's oldest surgical Royal College, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), has elected Manchester-based surgical trainee Mr David Riding as its newest Trainees’ Representative Member of Council, the fifth person to hold this post.

The role was introduced by the College in 2012 to give a voice to surgical trainees at the highest level and it is the only surgical Royal College to offer such a position. Already a member of the Trainees’ Committee, Mr Riding has played a key role in the RCSEd #LetsRemoveIt anti-bullying campaign, striving to protect the wellbeing of all health professionals to improve team working and the working environment, and to ultimately enhance patient safety and care.

Mr Riding, a vascular surgeon from Chorlton, Manchester, has previously held a post in Mbarara University Hospital, Uganda in 2012 and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Manchester.

Since becoming a member of the Trainees’ Committee two years ago, Mr Riding has consistently and effectively advocated on behalf of these members by specifically striving to eliminate the oppressive behaviours that threaten the safety of colleagues and patients. Along with his team, he has presented at a number of NHS trusts and made a significant contribution to developing online learning materials supporting the College’s #LetsRemoveIt anti-bullying campaign, which this year has been nominated for both British Medical Journal (BMJ) and Health Service Journal (HSJ) awards.

Mr Riding was officially welcomed to The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh as the Trainees’ Representative on Council on 9 November 2018, and will serve until November 2020.  

On the appointment, College President Professor Michael Griffin, said:

"I would like to congratulate David on his election to Council. The input from David and the Trainees’ Committee is vital as the College seeks to foster the next generation of surgeons that as well as being good surgeons, demonstrate excellent communication skills and conduct. The future of surgery is the surgeons of the future. We have to listen to them.

“This generation are working with more intensity than older generations – higher risks and more pressurised systems - we therefore must listen, support and value our trainees’ contribution and use this feedback to ensure better methods of training.  I am delighted our College has the Faculty of Surgical Trainers to champion the role of the trainer and appreciate the significance of what the greatest trainers can pass on to our surgeons of the future.”


Mr Riding said of his appointment:

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to represent trainees to the RCSEd Council. Since joining the College, I have been impressed with the progressive attitude to surgical education that the College has demonstrated. The successes of the Faculty of Surgical Trainers and the work of the Trainees’ Committee are testament to that, and I will ensure that trainee issues continue to be prioritised at the highest level. 

“Our Members still face many challenges: the cost of training, the tension between service provision and personal development, the adaptation towards flexible working, and the increasing difficulty of recruiting doctors to surgical specialties. I am encouraged by our new President’s enthusiasm for improving all aspects of surgical training, and I am looking forward to working with Professor Griffin, the College Council and my colleagues on the Trainees’ Committee as we seek to achieve this.”

As service demand increases, but the number of doctors pursuing surgical careers falls, the profession faces an impending recruitment crisis that threatens the capacity to offer patients safe and timely surgical care. As future surgical consultants, trainees must be at the forefront of RCSEd’s strategies to mitigate this.

Recognising this, Mr Riding has already led the successful application to HMRC to allow tax exemption for the FRCS examination. He also represented the college at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Trainee Doctors’ Group, contributing to reduce the financial impact of training and improve assessment to increase credibility and minimise the administrative burden on both trainees and their supervisors and ultimately improve working lives. 

Mr Riding was awarded Med Surgical Education (Merit) from Imperial College London in 2016 and completed his HENW Medical Education Fellowship in 2015. 

Find out more about the #LetsRemoveIt campaign here.

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