Becoming a Standout Surgeon event highlights path to a successful career in surgery

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Speakers pose for a photo at the Standout Surgeon event

Experts in the surgical field joined the RCSI Fellows and Members Office for its 'Becoming a Standout Surgeon' event this month as part of the RCSI Charter Meeting 2023.

The aim of the event was to raise awareness amongst medical students, surgical trainees, interns, NCHDs and junior doctors of the opportunities available through the new RCSI affiliate membership programme and to provide guidance on pursuing a successful career in surgery.

Affiliate Membership of RCSI provides those considering a career in surgery and trainee surgeons with exclusive access to a range of ‘member-only’ services aimed at supporting and supplementing their personal, practical, academic and professional development in the surgical field.

Professor David Healy, RCSI Council Member, was joined by an expert panel to discuss key surgical topics to guide the potential future surgical training programme applicants in the audience and provide them with an insight into the standards and the level of competition in the field. 

The panel of speakers, addressing an audience of more than 100, at the event included: Professor Kevin Barry, Director of National Surgical Training Programmes, RCSI; Mr Dara Kavanagh, Chair of the Core Surgical Training committee, RCSI; Ms Jessica Ryan, Irish Surgical Training Group (ISTG) President and Higher Surgical Trainee, RCSI; and Ms Ciara Tallon, Career Designer, RCSI. 

Development opportunities

As part of discussion on the Core Surgical Training (CST) selection criteria, Professor Kevin Barry and Mr Dara Kavanagh gave their expert advice on sitting the MRCS Part A and Part B examinations, the importance of timing and how to maximise Higher Surgical Training (HST) scores.

Professor Barry said: “I am very encouraged and pleased with the high standards demonstrated by the successful CST candidates. For example, 40% of the appointed candidates had already passed Part A of the MRCS exams and 15% have passed both parts of the MRCS exams which is testament to the quality and dedication of the candidates.”

Ciara Tallon discussed career development opportunities in surgery and Jessica Ryan provided insight on how to successfully apply for CST and HST.


The ‘Becoming a Standout Surgeon’ event took place as part of Charter 2023, the annual RCSI symposium that reflects RCSI’s role and reach as a professional training body. This year’s meeting focussed on surgical care and planning for the future.

A recording of the full event, ‘Becoming a Standout Surgeon’ is available on-demand to RCSI Affiliate Members.

You can find further information on RCSI Affiliate Membership here.

Two happy attendees at the event