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Warwick medical student wins national surgical skills prize

”MarkMark Mobley, a third year Warwick Medical School student, has won the grand final of a UK-wide surgical skills competition.

Mark beat off competition from 900 initial entrants and 370 regional finalists to get to the grand final, in which he and 19 other finalists were tasked with demonstrating surgical skills in disciplines such as tendon repair, anatomy, cross infection and laparoscopy tests.

The Lister Surgical Skills Competition was organised by run by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) in February 2012 as part of a series of events to commemorate the life and contribution of Lord Joseph Lister, known as ‘the father of modern surgery’, 100 years after his death.

Commenting on the experience of competing and winning the final, Mark said:

I’m very excited, it’s not really sunk in yet, I’m just really pleased! The whole competition was great fun and all the staff and surgeons involved in the competition were brilliant - really welcoming and supportive. It’s also been fantastic to meet the other finalists from all over the UK and share stories of how each person got into medicine. I, myself, worked as a theatre auxiliary before going to university which gave me my taste to pursue a medical career.

I found the final of the competition challenging and learnt a lot from it. I really enjoyed practising on the laparoscopic station as I’ve never used such state-of-the-art equipment before and it was also my first opportunity to carry out tendon repair; I’ve witnessed it being done hundreds of times, but to actually be able to do it myself and do it well was a really rewarding experience and a great achievement for me.

Winning this competition has now given me a steer on my career ambitions as before I’ve been undecided whether to follow a career in surgery after my medical training. I’m quite keen to learn more about robotic surgery as I have a particular interest in minimal access surgery and medical simulations, having previous experience in 3D visualisation technology and would love to get involved with that more in the future and get some further hands-on experience. I’m really looking forward to my prize of going to the Johnson & Johnson Surgical Training Institute in Hamburg and look forward to seeing what cutting-edge surgical technologies are available there, as well as the opportunity to take advantage of further skills training in such a state-of-the-art facility.

As an affiliate now of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh I hope the relationship will be useful for helping me to build my CV and gain access to future core training opportunities.

Sponsored by Johnson and Johnson Medical Companies, Mark’s prize will be a two-day trip to their European Surgical Training Institute in Hamburg where he will get the opportunity to undertake further practical hands-on surgical skills training, as well as shadow and interact with delegates in a tailored programme designed to suit his needs.

Samantha Chambers, also from Warwick Medical School, was runner-up in the West Midlands regional heat.