Oxford Student Awarded National Runner-Up Prize by Britain’s Oldest Surgical Royal College
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Oxford medical student Daniel Klotz was awarded second prize by Britain’s oldest surgical Royal College at their 5th annual National Conference for Aspiring Surgeons, which called upon the best and brightest medical students and foundation doctors from around the UK, to present new ideas and share their passion on innovation, safety and quality in surgery, to help shape the future of healthcare.
The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (www.rcsed.ac.uk); which early last year opened its first-ever centre of operations in Birmingham to cater for the 80% of its UK membership based in England and Wales; held this exciting event in association with SCRUBS (the University of Bristol Surgical Society) at the School of Chemistry, University of Bristol. This year’s event also included educational workshops on presentation skills, research and audit, and technical skills such as suturing, knot tying and plastering techniques.
Daniel, 29, who studies graduate-entry medicine is in his final year at Pembroke College, University of Oxford,took the presentation runner-up spot for a paper looking at identifying the signs of recurrence of ovarian cancer (70% of women who undergo this type of cancer surgery develop tumours again within 12-14 months). Recurrence is often caused by deposits of cancer cells which could be removed if spotted early, but are so small that even MRI scans can’t detect them.
Daniel co-authored a recent publication in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, outlining a novel ‘fluorescent’ marker technique for pinpointing tiny, invisible-to-the-eye cancer deposits which could enable not just early detection for a significant number of patients with ovarian cancer but also further scientific study of these cells. Daniel says;
“It is a great feeling to get an award for presenting at a conference. I am very glad that my presentation was well received and I hope this could be a positive example of how medical students can work at the interface between basic science and clinical research during their medical degree.
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women, and when comparing female specific cancers, it is the leading cause of death. Unfortunately, despite an initial response to drug treatment, the cancer often comes back. We think that this approach could have a real potential to be developed as a technique.”
Over 200,000 women worldwide are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, of whom only a quarter will remain alive five years following the diagnosis. Daniel’s co-author is consultant gynaecological oncology surgeon and University of Oxford scientist Prof. Ahmed Ashour Ahmed. He says;
“Real-time fluorescence imaging during surgery holds great promise for identifying tiny ovarian cancer tumours that are difficult to see by eye. This is important as such tumours are often missed by other methods of detection including direct visualisation during surgery and, therefore, escape treatment and cause recurrence.”
At the event in Bristol which took place at the end of February, over 25 studies by students and young doctors were grouped into specialties such as heart surgery, paediatric surgery, plastic surgery, trauma and orthopaedics, among others. New insights into conditions ranging from sprained ankles to dog bites, breast reconstruction and ovarian cancer were presented to a panel of judging surgeons for a chance to win a national prize in specific surgical categories, as well as one overall for best presentation.
Convenor of the Aspiring Surgeons’ event Professor Davinder Sandhu; a consultant urological surgeon who is Director of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh’s Regional Advisor Network; says;
“This important event plays a key role in inspiring tomorrow’s surgeons. Those who attended will have gained a valuable insight into our rewarding but competitive career, and it was a great opportunity for bright minds to share scientific innovation and ideas. I’m always excited to exchange views with the next generation in all areas of surgery.”
A number of talks throughout the day by top surgeons such as Professor James D. Hutchison, Vice President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, also gave attendees a flavour of what a career in surgery and surgical research entails. Prof. Hutchison, who gave out the prizes, said;
“With over 22,500 Fellows, Members and Affiliates based in 100 countries worldwide, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has a long-standing global reputation of surgical excellence and we are committed to supporting and encouraging a new generation of young surgeons, making this an ideal event to foster the surgical talent of the future.”[macroErrorLoadingPartialView]
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