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Hospital Placement Opportunities for Undergraduates

Applications now open for Cardiothoracic Surgery Placements for Undergraduates at the James Cook Hospital, Middlesbrough


Cardiothoracic surgery is one of the smallest surgical specialties but offers some of the most exciting and varied opportunities in which to practice medicine and surgery. The Cardiothoracic Surgery Department at James Cook Hospital, with support from The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), is offering a small number of senior medical students at UK universities the opportunity to work under the supervision of Consultant Surgeon and RCSEd Regional Surgical Adviser Mr Jonathan Ferguson. The placements offer students supervised time in the operating theatre and the opportunity to shadow the day-to-day activities of trainees, consultants and allied clinicians and professionals in the department.


Objectives and Outcomes

Over a 2-3 week period, successful students will have the opportunity to shadow Mr Ferguson and allied clinicians within the Cardiothoracic Surgery department during patient clinics, ward rounds and in the operating theatre. Students will undergo a brief induction at the beginning of the placement.

Students will complete the placement with a signed logbook record (using the Surgical eLogbook) detailing their time spent in the operating theatre and if completed satisfactorily they will also receive a certificate of completion of the placement and a letter of reference from Mr Ferguson.



Applicants will be in their final year of graduating from a UK medical school. Applicants will have already been actively involved in extra-curricular activities relating to Cardiothoracic Surgery. For example, attendance at undergraduate or postgraduate Cardiothoracic Surgery conferences or meetings, involvement in research or active reading in the specialty. The details of these activities should be listed on the application form.
Applicants will be required to write a 500 word essay on why they want to be a heart surgeon. This essay and the evidence of early years’ interest in the specialty will be considered by Mr Ferguson and a fellow Cardiothoracic Surgeon from the College.



Successful applicants will stay in the hospital residences of the James Cook Hospital, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This provides basic hospital accommodation with local supermarkets nearby. The cost of the accommodation and travel to and from Middlesbrough will be covered by a small grant from the College up to the value of £300 per student. Students will be required to produce receipts for their accommodation and travel.


There will be up to 6 placements available at different times within a one year period from June 2017 to May 2018. Successful applicants will be able to negotiate with Mr Ferguson a suitable time convenient to both, to undertake the placement.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 28 February 2017. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by no later than Monday 27 March 2017.

To apply, complete the application form below and return it to the Outreach Department at outreach@rcsed.ac.uk along with an up to date copy of your CV.



Successful applicants will be required to write a short report on their experience of the placement for publication on the College website and potentially the College’s quarterly membership magazine Surgeons’ News (at the Editor’s discretion). Please see below for reports written by students who have completed the placement.


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