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Workshops, Talks and Social Events

Outlined below are a range of smaller events that your surgical society should consider running. For further advice and tips, please email us at  

Skills workshops

These events provide opportunities for students to practice surgical skills such as suturing, knot tying or scrubbing. They can be popular so make sure you know how much space you have available, and ensure that you have a fair booking system.

Suture workshops: Suture companies may be willing to provide all the equipment you need, or run the whole workshop for you. Alternatively, try asking local hospitals for out-of-date sutures or seeing if your medical school can provide funds for buying equipment or lend you the equipment.

Anatomy demonstration/revision: These workshops can be more difficult to organise as it is beneficial to have access to dissection rooms. However, your medical school should be able to help with this, and foundation and core trainees are often keen to assist. Be sure to acknowledge there support in a formal letter for their portfolio.

CV writing/portfolio building: This is vital skill for developing your career in surgery. The university careers department should help you organise this, or try approaching surgeons in your region who regularly appoint staff to posts. This can be included as part of an evening lecture or careers event.

Specialty and careers talks

Talks from surgeons or trainees provide on surgical specialties and career paths are straightforward to organise. Make sure that you book a suitable space well in advance. Decide what you want covered in the session and start inviting speakers as early as possible. Most surgeons organise their diaries in advance and require a minimum of six to eight weeks' notice.

Keep lecture-based sessions to no more than two hours, otherwise the audience can get restless. Brief speakers on how long they have and build in time for them to overrun and for questions. Don’t cram too many talks into one session; if necessary run a series of related talks.

Check with speakers what their AV needs are in advance. If funds allow, record or stream the talks online to maximize their audience.

Social events

Don’t underestimate how useful it can be to arrange social activities for your society. Ideally these should be timed to maximize the benefits for all; try organising parties after the exam period is over or arrange a dinner out on the first day back to catch up. It can be useful to open some of these events up to surgeons who support the society - but choose the type of social gathering carefully.

Day trips

An easy society event to organise is a day trip. Depending on numbers and location, you can visit a collection or collections for a day or half-day. Contact the museum or hospital you’re visiting directly to organise a guided-tour or interactive sessions.

London has a number of medical museums including the RCS’s Hunterian Museum and Wellcome Collection of Pathology.

Where possible, the RCS museums team can arrange a guided-tour around the Wellcome Pathology Collection or Hunterian Museum as well as a short teaching session which fits easily into a half-day visit. Please email us at for more information. 


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