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News from the International Affairs office

First pilot of 'SAFE Operating Room' completed in Ethiopia

Thursday 21 September 2017

This September, a team of clinicians delivered the first pilot of a newly written short course "SAFE Operating Room". The course was hosted by Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS). It is a unique collaboration between the RCS, the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI), the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) and the Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP), professional bodies that united surgeons, anaesthetists and theatre nurses in designing the programme and also delivering it. Read more about the course.

High achieving RCS Fellows receive prestigious Indian accolade

Monday 15 May 2017

We would like to wish huge congratulations to Dr Raghu Ram FRCS, the youngest surgeon ever from the Southern Indian states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to be awarded the prestigious Dr B C Roy National Award, the highest award a practising doctor can receive in India, for an outstanding contribution to sociomedical relief.

We further congratulate Prof Pawanindra Lal FRCS, who also won this eminent award.



RCS partnering with CMC Vellore on developing a training programme in critical children's surgical conditions 

Tuesday 9 May 2017

In early April 2017, the RCS visited Vellore in southern India to take forward our development project: Hub and Spoke Model of Training in Critical Children’s Surgical Conditions for District Hospitals.

Paediatric surgeons Mr Richard Stewart and Miss Kokila Lakhoo were invited by Dr Vrisha Madhuri, Professor and Head of the Paediatric Orthopaedic Unit at Christian Medical College, Vellore – our partners in this joint project.

A new initiative by the Indian government envisages screening of all children and adolescents for key medical and surgical conditions and their referral to and treatment by existing healthcare providers. However - in the existing system - surgeons and nurses in the fields of orthopaedics, trauma, general surgery and urology lack experience in managing younger children. In addition, the support services such as anaesthesiologists and intensive care units for children under six years of age are inadequate or even non-existent. This forms a crisis situation wherein identified children are unable to access or obtain quality local care.

Surgeons from the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS) will partner with their Indian colleagues and develop a curriculum for training in identifying and grading of critical surgical conditions, devising a decision making algorithm, imparting skills to prevent and treat the early stage disease at the district level secondary centres (Spokes) and have the necessary referral network/telemedicine portals to refer advanced cases to the training centres (Hubs). The program envisages connectivity between the ‘Hub and Spokes’ to provide a continuous seamless care.

Dr Madhuri arranged an intensive programme of presentations and discussions with specialist surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses at CMC, before we drove some five hours to a district general hospital in Tumkur. Surgeons and their anaesthetist gave concise presentations which helped the visitors understand the practical considerations affecting decisions for treatment or referral. This information was invaluable in suggesting the content and approach for the course which we are to develop. We also visited a new sub-campus of CMC at Chittoor, an impressive new facility which is fast developing.

Discussions continued at CMC and the combined team have drafted a curriculum for a 3-day short course which will be piloted at CMC Vellore later this year. Once reviewed and amended as necessary, we anticipate that the course will form the backbone of a cascade of training in a state or region which will greatly improve the effective diagnosis, triage and referral of paediatric conditions.

RCS at the Pan African Association of Surgeons First International Conference

The Pan African Association of Surgeons Global Surgical Implementation conference was attended by the leaders of fellow surgical colleges across the continent. The African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa hosted the 3 day meeting to contribute political context with much of the discussion requiring coordination not just across the surgical communities but with the support of health and finance ministries.


RCS international affairs engaged with progressive actors and discussed what initiatives the RCS can deploy to support the surgical priorities of training delivery, capacity building and responses to workforce stresses.


Another fruitful discussion was had with St Paul’s hospital regarding surgical training and specialty workshops required to upskill trainees in general surgery. The RCS met with the head of surgery at Black Lion Hospital to discuss the forthcoming Safer Theatre Practice course. We also visited CURE International’s paediatric orthopaedic facility.


International Travel Awards

We are delighted to announce that three International Travel Awards have been granted to the following successful applicants:

Elizabeth Hadija Tissingh

Topic: Improving trauma outcomes in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Jessica NG

Topic: Paediatric surgery in Nepal: Improving access to children surgery

Vinod Patel

Topic: Long term outcomes associated with a complex surgical mission treating head and neck facial disfigurement

Find out more here about RCS International and Visiting Fellow Travel Grants or contact in case you have any other questions.

RCS attending COSECSA and ASICON Conferences

The International Affairs’ Team attended two Annual Conferences in December: COSECSA, in Kenya and ASICON, in India. These provided great opportunities to engage with our members and surgeons in these countries.

COSECSA Annual Meeting
– 7-9th December 2016

RCS International Affairs meet with key stakeholders from across the region and discuss potential programmes of work that can be delivered collaboratively with COSECSA.

This community reunites annually to set the agenda for the coming year and celebrate the wealth of talent and promote best practice across the profession.

The RCS had a stand at this popular event to promote the ISTP for which COSECSA is a principal partner. The RCS has received over 15 applications from surgeons in training across COSECSA countries and those who are accepted onto the scheme have so far flourished. This motivated, talented and resilient group of surgeons will return to implement some of the key clinical and patient management methodologies learned in the NHS into practice. The leadership and teaching skills will have a positive impact on the future of surgery for patients across COSECSA’s countries. 

In recognition of this valuable community, the RCS attended the conference in order to foster links across the continent and, with the RCS international strategy at the heart of the dialogue, begin the dialogue and planning of surgical programmes work with numerous institutions and individuals.

Association of Surgeons of India  – 14-18 December 2016

RCS attended the 76th Annual Conference of the Association of Surgeons of India with the view to engaging with RCS members, surgeons and stakeholders from India.

This provided a great opportunity to meet various members of the College, and other surgeons who visited our stand at the conference, which received approximately 5,000 delegates from all over the country. The RCS used this opportunity to host a small event with some of our members to talk about the RCS international strategy and future plans with India. During the conference, the International Team also had the opportunity to meet the President-elect of ASICON, Dr. Shiva K Misra, with whom we exchanged ideas about the RCS work internationally and in India.

As a result of our visit, we have established closer contacts with some of our members in India, who came to our event, and as a result we will be announcing names of our first appointed International Advisors for India, very shortly. RCS also got mentioned in the local press, as part of our visit and meeting with member of RCS.

 Become an RCS International Adviser

The RCS wishes to appoint honorary International Advisers from designated countries listed by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). Applicants must be surgeons in good standing and Fellows of the RCS.

Application deadline: 28 November 2016.

Find out more or contact the international team at

Launch of RCS International Strategy 2016-2020

Monday 3rd October 2016

In 2015, the publication of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery focused the attention of the global surgical and healthcare community on the problems facing the least developed countries.

In response to this, we decided to address global surgery more directly and to build upon the existing outreach of our programmes. Overseas members already constitute around a quarter of our membership and we also reach out with our examinations, our partners who deliver RCS courses under licence, the International Surgical Training Programme, our research partnerships and our accreditation services.

Surgeons have long given their skills and experience in the service of surgery in resource-poor settings, often in conflict zones or disaster areas. Our new international strategy sets out our ambition over the next four years to encourage and channel that resource towards specific projects, through partnering with healthcare institutions overseas and building local capacity in ways that are context sensitive and sustainable. A different strand of the strategy will explore improving surgical care in the emerging economies of the Middle East and Gulf states – for example, on a paid-services basis.

RCS fellows and members are key to the success of the strategy, because of the surgical expertise that they can deploy on projects through partners in low and middle income countries (LMICs). They are equally important as our eyes and ears in LMICs and other countries, advising the RCS on areas of surgical need or developmental opportunity.

Read the strategy to learn more about the work we’ve been doing and our international priorities.

If you have any questions or wish to get involved with our international work please email us at

Registration for the Global Surgical Frontiers Conference 2017 is now open

Monday 3rd October 2016

The International team is delighted to announce that registration for the Global Surgical Frontiers Conference is now open.

Please follow this link to access early bird fees.

The GSF 2017 is taking place at the RCS on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 April 2017. This two-day conference will be focused on Children's Surgery, bringing different surgical specialities together.

If you are interested in attending or exhibit at this conference, please contact the international team or visit the conference page.

We look forward to seeing you there!

RCS International hosts first ISTP annual symposium

Monday 3rd October 2016

On Thursday 29th September, RCS International hosted its first annual symposium for overseas surgeons who are working in the UK through the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP).

The day proved very successful with almost 30 surgeons attending. The day provided a valuable opportunity for the surgeons to network with each other and acquire non-technical skills that they can take back to their home country at the end of their placement.

Pioneering children's surgery research to be undertaken in sub-Saharan Africa

Tuesday 26 July 2016

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has awarded a RCS Research Fellowship to Paediatric Surgery Registrar, Ms Naomi Wright, to undertake pioneering research in children’s surgery across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It is the first Global Surgery project to be funded by the RCS.

At present it is estimated that up to 94% of children in SSA do not have access to safe, affordable surgical care.

Ms Wright, who is currently a Paediatric Surgery Registrar and Surgical Lead for Medicine Africa at King’s College London, and a member of the RCS, said:

“Each year millions of newborns and children in sub-Saharan Africa die or suffer long-term disability from conditions that are operable and survivable in the UK. This study will provide vital data to help advocate for enhanced children’s surgical services in sub-Saharan Africa and will help to identify cost-effective interventions to improve outcomes.”

The study, entitled “Paediatric Surgery across Sub-Saharan Africa: A Multi-Centre Prospective Cohort Study”, will recruit surgeons and allied health professionals throughout the 46 countries in SSA to collectively produce the largest prospective cohort study of paediatric surgery in this region of the world.

Commenting on receiving the award, Ms Wright, said:

“I cannot thank the RCS enough for awarding me this fellowship and hence allowing this project to proceed. I feel privileged to be the first Global Surgery project to receive the fellowship - hopefully the first of many.”

It is hoped formation of the ‘PaedSurg Africa Research Collaboration’ will help to enhance research capacity in SSA and create a platform for on-going collaborative research and interventional studies.

For more details please contact

In the last 23 years the RCS, through the Research Fellowship Scheme, has committed more than £35 million to support over 700 individual trainee surgeons working in university departments and hospitals throughout the UK and abroad.

Find out more about our international opportunities.

Find out more about applying for a research fellowship.

International Affairs staff visit Egypt

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Duncan Jackman (Director) and Erinn Middleton (ISTP Officer) both visited Egypt in February / March.

Duncan attended the Egypt-UK Symposium on Family Medicine & Research, led by Sir Magdi Yacoub, at Aswan, before meeting with Major General Dr Ahmed Tawdi (pictured) at the Military Medical Academy in Cairo. The College and Egypt have built a strong relationship over 25 years of collaboration to jointly deliver our examinations.

Erinn travelled with Shafi Ahmed (RCS Council member and ISTP Clinical Lead) to meet with representatives from the Ministry of Health and Population (pictured) and hold joint ISTP interviews for the Egyptian candidates. The interviews were successful and seven new surgeons were accepted onto the ISTP and will start their placements in UK trusts this year.

Malaysian Society of Colorectal Surgeons registers as ISTP Partner Institution

Thursday 10 March 2016

The RCS is delighted to announce that the Malaysian Society of Colorectal Surgeons has joined the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) as a participating Partner Institution.


Overseas surgeons complete their ISTP placements

Tuesday 16 February 2016

The RCS congratulates Mr Yousif Habib Alabboudi and Mr Vernon Manil Fernando for recently completing their 12 months specialty training in the UK through the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP). Mr Alabboudi (pictured) from Dubai, UAE undertook 12 months of General Surgery training within Barts Health NHS Trust.

Mr Fernando, from Sri Lanka, completed 12-months of Trauma and Orthopaedic training at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Both surgeons have been awarded their certificates of completion by the President.

ISTP interviews to be held in Cairo, Egypt

Friday 5 February 2016

The RCS will be running ISTP interviews in Cairo on Tuesday 8 March in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Population.

Trainees interested in submitting an application are urged to email


MES Medical College Hospital registers as ISTP Partner Institution

Friday 18 December, 2015

The RCS is delighted to announce that the MES Medical College Hospital in India has joined the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) as a participating Partner Institution.



The College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) registers as ISTP Partner Institution

Friday 18 December, 2015

The RCS is delighted to announce that the The College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) has joined the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) as a participating Partner Institution.



All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) registers as ISTP Partner Institution

Wednesday 25 November, 2015

The RCS is delighted to announce that the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) has joined the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) as a participating Partner Institution.




Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS) registers as ISTP Partner Institution

Monday 23 November, 2015

The RCS is delighted to announce that the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre (AIMS) has joined the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) as a participating Partner Institution.



UK training opportunities

Tuesday 3 November, 2015

The International Office is inviting applications from highly-skilled International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who wish to undertake training in the UK through the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP). Please refer to our ISTP vacancies page for specialties we currently have vacancies in.



J&J Medical China visit to RCS

Wednesday 26 October, 2015

The RCS is delighted to announce that surgeons from Johnson and Johnson Medical China are visiting us from 27 – 29 October as part of an on-going partnership with Johnson & Johnson in China. The RCS  has previously accredited J&J surgical training centres in China, and will be visiting China later this year to accredit new centres as well as re-accredit existing ones.




Seth G.S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Mumbai registers as ISTP Partner Institution

Tuesday 20 October, 2015

The RCS is delighted to announce that the Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital has joined the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) as a participating Partner Institution.




RCS attending COSECSA AGM & Scientific Conference in Blantyre, 2-4 December

Monday 19 October, 2015

The RCS is pleased to announce its attendance at this years' COSECSA AGM & Scientific Conference in Blantyre. We will be available to discuss UK training opportunities through our International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP).

This collaboration between the RCS & COSECSA will allow suitably-qualified surgeons from the COSECSA regions to undertake sub-specialty training in UK hospitals for a maximum of two years. Surgeons interested in applying for the programme are encouraged to register their interest with the RCS MTI Officer or contact their local COSECSA regional representative.


RAHETID registers as ISTP Partner Institution

Wednesday 14 October, 2015

The International Office is delighted to announce that the  RA Hospital, Education and Training Institute in Dhaka, Bangladesh has joined the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) as a participating Partner Institution.


RACS registers as ISTP Partner Institution

Tuesday 13 October, 2015

The International Office is delighted to announce that the  Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) has joined the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) as a participating Partner Institution.



First ISTP trainee from the Royal Medical Services, Jordan

Friday 25 September, 2015

The first trainee through the auspices of the RCS/Jordanian Royal Medical Services ISTP partnership has arrived to the UK. Dr Saleh Al Hababheh is a breast surgeon and will be undertaking a two-year training post at The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust.



First overseas trainee completes ISTP

Friday 7 August, 2015

The RCS International Office is pleased to announce its first overseas trainee in the International Surgical Training Programme (ISTP) has completed his placement in the UK.

Dr Saman Renuka Mirihanage Don from Sri Lanka was awarded his certificate of completion at Diplomates Day.


Get in touch

The International Office is the main point of contact for all queries from international surgeons and stakeholders who wish to find out more about opportunities and ventures overseas.

For contacts in education, exams or careers or dentistry, please see those sections of the website.



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