AGM at RCSEd 2024: A recap of a very productive few days!

AGM at RCSEd 2024: A recap of a very productive few days!

Welcome to this blog written by Lasitha B Samarakoon, MMed ChM FRCSGlasg FRCSEd FFSTEd, Member of the SAS LED Committee and General Surgical Speciality Board at RCSEd. Lasitha gives a recap of a very productive few days of their time at the College during the SAS LED Committee meeting and then the Annual General Meeting.

I passed my Fellowship examination in 2020 and it was an easy decision for me to pick which college I am going to be a fellow of. I opted for the oldest and most prestigious royal college of all – The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and I have never regretted that decision.

Ever since becoming a Fellow, I have been active within the various committees in the College including SAS LED Committee as well as the General Surgical SSB. And before you know it, it was once again time for the Annual General Meeting of the College, held on Friday 17 of November.

On the Thursday 16 of November I arrived to a magical and misty Edinburgh. There was a lot to look forward to as we were having the SAS LED Committee meeting at 4pm in the College. Advent of the pandemic has forever changed the way we work, nevertheless I was looking forward to meeting my fellow committee members in person, some of whom I have not had the opportunity to meet before.

At 4pm we started the SAS LED Committee meeting in the Bell Room. We were fortunate enough to have the College Vice President, Professor Tim Graham, join the meeting together with Mr. Majid Mukadam who is the SAS LED Committee Chair. Suffice it to say that we planned a lot of exciting things for the new year - we will keep you posted via the Blog. I was delighted to meet several members of the committee whom I had not met before as well as the rest.

After a very productive couple of hours, we concluded the meeting and headed towards the Quincentenary Building for the drinks reception followed by dinner in the Wolfson Hall. It was indeed a very nice evening and undoubtedly the highlight of the evening for me was the witty talk by the College President Professor Rowan Parks himself. Apart from the witty sharp humor, Professor Parks also did an excellent job at thanking the hard work that the College Fellows and Members put in to keep the College cogs running smoothly. Coincidentally it was our Chair of the Trainees' Committee Katie Hurst's birthday and true to the RCSEd tradition we had a birthday cake, and all joined to wish her a happy belated birthday.

The next day on 17 of November started off with the series of very timely and important talks in the Symposium Hall. It was an absolute eye opener for me to hear about existence of marginalizing and discrimination against gender, how to avoid, as well as the hardships faced by the modern-day trainees, and suggestions to circumvent them. All the speakers were true experts in their respective fields and did an excellent job.

Next was the highlight of the day – Annual General Meeting at the Iconic and majestic Playfair Hall. Once again President Professor Rowan Parks did a grand job at highlighting the progress made during the last year, which was a difficult year due to the Pandemic. It was good to hear from the president that there was progress in all aspects with things slowly getting back to normal. This was followed by Mr. Siong Liau, College Honorary Treasurer, presenting the financial statement for the last year and future plans and financial goals for year 2024. 

Since there was no other business, the ceremony concluded and we headed to the lunch, where we had further opportunity to network with the Council as well as the past presidents such as Professor Mike Griffin who was the immediate past president of the College and graced the AGM.

It was indeed a very productive and eye-opening couple of days for me personally and I am sure for all the other delegates that attended. The Council had done a fabulous job at putting together an exceptional program and executing it flawlessly. Staff at the College and Surgeons Quarter were exceptional, as always.

I would encourage all to become part of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and to try to attend the annual general meeting in Edinburgh in person to experience the age-old traditions and rich history that the College is associated with. I am sure you will be amazed, and the experience will change you as it has done for myself.

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