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RCSEd’s International Office celebrates its first anniversary

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03 Apr 2019

With the local membership one of the strongest and fastest growing internationally, and with the strong local demand in the ASEAN region for its expertise and rich portfolio of activities, it was only natural for RCSEd to choose Kuala Lumpur as the location for its first International Office.

Thanks to long-established strategic relations with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and the College of Surgeons – Academy of Medicine of Malaysia (CSAMM), RCSEd opened its international office on 17th January 2018 in the presence of many Council members, and of His Royal Highness Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir, the Ruler of the State of Negeri Sembilan who is also the Chancellor of UKM.

In March 2018, Ms Shidah Abd Lah was appointed as International Office Manager to develop and implement an ambitious plan encompassing the broad spectrum of activities in the College, and including examinations, courses, membership engagement, and corporate networking.

“RCSEd is serious in engaging with its network in the ASEAN region. The International Office will  support the current membership and promote the surgical fraternity through RCSEd’s network. Among my priorities are the establishment of the RCSEd Ambassador Club and the Tuanku Muhriz Travelling Fellowship”, said Shidah.

RCSEd Ambassador Club was established to provide medical students and junior doctors with an exclusive, early exposure to the many activities carried out by the College. Following an informal advertisement process, we received an overwhelming response from young doctors eager to get involved and have started to build a network of dynamic, enthusiastic medical students.

The Tuanku Muhriz Travelling Fellowship in Rural Surgery, named after the Chancellor of UKM, was set up thanks to the generosity of a Malaysian donor, in cooperation with University Kebangsaan Malaysia and the Ministry of Health of Malaysia. This Fellowship, opened to UK surgeons, will allow the successful recipient to be placed in a Malaysian rural hospital for a period of two weeks. The first recipient of the Fellowship is Prof Angus Watson, a Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon and the Director of Research, Development and Innovation in NHS Highland in the UK. Angus will spend his Fellowship in a rural hospital in Borneo, with a view to gaining further experience in rural surgery. Applications for the next Fellowship will open in autumn 2019.

At the heart of our mission is the engagement with our Fellows and Members.

Obviously, the presence of this international office will give extra miles for RCSEd. It is hoped that together we further the position and the role of the International Office in becoming a hub for RCSEd’s membership and activities in the ASEAN region”, said Hanafiah Harunarashid, International Surgical Adviser to the College in Malaysia. 

To that effect, we organised and attended a number of events during the year. In May 2018, the College was represented at the Annual Congress at the College of Surgeons Academy of Medicine Malaysia in Ipoh where it interacted with young medical professional interested in surgery.

In July 2018, the Vice-President of RCSEd, Professor Graham Layer made his inaugural visit to the International Office and discussed the future of the College in the ASEAN region.

In November 2018, the newly elected Vice President Mr Pala Rajesh led an event that brought together more than twenty surgical and dental Fellows and Members. In a very stimulating exchange of ideas, the attendees were able to make suggestions as to what the College should be doing to support them in their career. The success of the event was such that it was agreed that similar networking events would be held throughout the year in 2019, allowing members of the College to meet with each other and to raise their concerns and their views with College representatives.

2019 has welcomed celebrations of five years of excellence from the Advanced Surgical Skills Centre (ASSC)  a relationship important to RCSEd, the College chose ASSC as its first international office outside the United Kingdom and since then the College has carried out the examination of the membership of RCSEd (MRCS).  The positive effect on Malaysia has seen it become one of the exam centres for many international subspecialty exams and raised the profile of Malaysia as the preferred exam centre in the Asian Region.   

For further information about the Malaysian office click here or email Ms Shidah Abd Lah at malaysia@rcsed.ac.uk .

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