Professor Rowan Parks Takes Office as the 176th President of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

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11 Nov 2022

Professor Rowan Parks has officially taken office as President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), after being formally welcomed to the role at the College AGM, where he outlined his priorities for his upcoming three-year term.

In his first address to members and fellows as President of the College, Professor Parks set out his stall for the future and discussed the areas he will be focusing on in the years ahead, including a major drive to tackle the ongoing workforce crisis facing the NHS.

Professor Parks said:

Our trainees have had it very tough over the past couple of years. Their resilience has been stretched, their training has been impacted and often their working environment has been challenging. We must ensure they are valued and nurtured.

I am passionate about the education and training of the next generation of surgeons and dentists, and this will be a major focus of our endeavours over the next few years.

We must ensure their training is prioritised as we recover from the impact of the pandemic, but also manage a huge backlog of elective surgical workload. We must also rekindle in them the excitement, the satisfaction and the joy of looking after, caring for and curing patients.

During the next three years I aim to work with our Regional and International Surgical Ambassadors to engage with students, trainees and younger Fellows with a commitment to support, stimulate and encourage these future surgeons.

Professor Parks was elected in June 2022 and takes over from Professor Michael Griffin OBE who has held the role of President since 2018.

Professor Parks represents not only the first Northern Irish Surgeon to hold the office of President at RCSEd, but also the first father and son to have been presidents of two different Royal Colleges in the UK and Ireland, as well as also both being President of our Surgical Specialty Association, ASGBI. Professor Parks father, George, a Fellow of this College since 1963 (and still in good standing), was President of our sister college, the RCSI, from 2000 to 2002 when Sir John Temple was President of the RCSEd.

Alongside Professor Parks, incoming Vice Presidents Clare McNaught and Tim Graham were also inaugurated at the AGM, taking over from Pala Rajesh and Professor Parks who previously held the roles.

Professor Rowan Parks continued:

I will do everything possible over the next three years to maintain a strong professional voice and to continue making It better for healthcare workers and patients, particularly as we continue to face challenges in staff retention and workforce planning.

This will be a key priority for me during my time as President. Never has there been a more important time for us to attract and retain more workers, and to do so, we need to make the NHS a better place to work.

What I can promise is that I will bring passion and enthusiasm to this role, and with such a superb team and Council behind me, I believe that the College can and will carry on the fabulous work of the last administration and truly make a difference for young doctors, surgeons and our patients.


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