Core Surgical Training Advisory Committee (CSTAC)

I had the privilege of attending this meeting as my first as BOTA junior representative.

It was firstly announced the committee would now take the new form of the Core Surgical Training Advisory Committee (CSTAC).

An update on ISCP was given to reassure us that some of the features of Version 9 that had disappeared (such as the summary page) had returned. Feedback was being used to improve version 10 and adaptions were being made to help our TPDs solve some of their ongoing issues.

I presented the recent results from the BOTA census that were first shown at the BOA congress in Belfast this year. The main issues around bullying and undermining were discussed and the group voiced their support for the ongoing #HammerItOut campaign. Professor Oscar Traynor, Director of the National Surgical Training Centre RCSI, again gave an update into surgical training in Ireland and how they continue to lead the way.

Surgical boot camps were introduced this year throughout the UK, yet have been established for several years now in Ireland.  Nationally, their trainees all use the ‘mSurgery’ app for references and papers, to view videos for surgical procedures and co-ordinate and book sessions in the simulation labs. (Note this app is available for UK trainees to take advantage of also!)

Irish surgical trainees receive this all free of charge and although this is difficult to replicate exactly in the UK, we are adapting aspects such as boot camps, which have had very positive feedback so far after their launch this year.

Mr Brecknell and Mr Lintott gave an overview report on their new curriculum for core surgical training for 2017. It was well received by all in the room, and the TPDs felt it set out clearer objectives expected of by trainees when rotating through specific surgical specialities.

Upcoming core surgical interviews were mentioned along with several changes to the process from 2016. As the upcoming MRCS Part A results will not be revealed before the interview dates, it was decided that all applicants who had sat the exam, either in January 2017 or previously, would be awarded a point for this commitment to surgery. The portfolio station would become more interactive allowing applicants to discuss their possible scores and highlight areas they felt they should score highly on.

On behalf of BOTA, I would like to wish everyone interviewing in January the best of luck!

Mark McMullan

BOTA Junior Representative