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The evolution of surgical training – six generations of cardiothoracic surgeons reflect

22nd June 2021, 19:00 to 20:00 BST


The trainer – trainee relationship is crucial to the development of confidence and competence in a trainee.  We will be exploring how the trainer – trainee relationship has changed over generations of taught surgeons.  Our panel of cardiothoracic surgeons will discuss what have we learnt, what have we lost and what must be changed to ensure excellence in teaching and quality in surgery in the future.


The aim of the webinar is to examine the socio-cultural changes in training over six generations of taught cardiac surgeon.

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David O'Regan (Chair)

Director of the Faculty of Surgical Trainers. Twenty years Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon and twenty years running the critically acclaimed PAR Excellence and PAR Aorta Courses.  Now teaching basic surgical skills using a martial arts template – Black Belt Academy of Surgical Skills – an on-line global following of 2745 students

Miss Gillian Hardman

Gillian is a Year 7 Specialty Registrar in Cardiothoracic Surgery in the North West of England.  She is currently the NHSBT Clinical Research Fellow in Cardiothoracic Transplantation and is a PhD candidate at Newcastle University.  She completed an MSc in Medical Education. A faculty member of the RCS NOTSS course, Gill is an active member of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery and a member of the RCSEd Trainees’ Committee. Gill hopes to build on her experience to date, continuing the work of the committee, with a focus on the professionalisation of the trainer role, addressing bullying and incivility within our professional culture and improving the desirability of a surgical career.

Mr Sri Rathinam

Sri is a Consultant Thoracic Surgeon and Senior Lecturer in the university Hospitals of Leicester. He is the Education Secretary for Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery for Great Britain and Ireland (SCTS) and Chair of RCSEd Cardiothoracic Surgical Specialty Board. He is a keen surgical trainer and a faculty member in national and international cardiothoracic courses. He is the Chair of the Cardiothoracic Training Programme in the East Midlands overseeing the training of young surgeons. He was elected to the Fellowship of Faculty of Surgical Trainers. He is the Simulation and Quality assurance lead of the Specialty Advisory Committee. He is an examiner for the Intercollegiate Speciality Board Examination in Cardiothoracic surgery and European Board in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Mr Pala Rajesh

Pala is a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital and Vice President of RCSEd. His interests are in minimally invasive thoracic surgery, surgical training and education. He set up the Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery service in the Regional Department of Thoracic Surgery which is now a renowned centre for training in the UK. He is the lead examiner of the Joint Surgical Fellowship examinations in cardiothoracic surgery in Asia. He is a Member of Council in the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Mr Ashok Cherian

Ashok qualified from Grant Medical College, University of Bombay in 1969 and specialised in cardiothoracic and vascular surgery throughout his career. This was in the early period of cardiac surgery and he had the privilege of being trained and working with some of the great pioneers in cardiac surgery in Bombay, Sydney and then London where he spent many years with Mr Donald Ross.

Mr Devan Limbachia

Devan Limbachia is a current FY3 in Thoracic Surgery at Nottingham City Hospital. He has newly been appointed as an ST1 in Cardiothoracic Surgery (West Midlands) and is due to start in August 2021. Alongside his clinical duties, Devan is currently undertaking an MSc in Surgical Sciences with RCSEd and University of Edinburgh and is a current RCSEd Affiliate Fellow. Within the field of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Devan is interested in minimally invasive surgery, robotics and widening the access to surgery. Outside of hospital, he enjoys painting, reading and travelling.


1 Hour

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A recording of the webinar will be made available on this page in the days following the live broadcast.

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