With UK national surgical selection processes completed, and many offers already in the post, it’s a good time to think about how to make the most of your training. In some parts of the UK, government decisions are making many trainees question their desire to become surgeons. Stay strong and weather the storm. Being a surgeon will always offer great rewards. Political fads and health secretaries are ephemeral.
A sensible plan for the new trainee is to consider your situation from the perspective of your trainer. If you are keen and people want to train you, opportunities abound. Be organised, keep the wards safe, and it will be noticed. Remember, delivering service is very often an inherent and valuable part of training. eLogbook and ISCP are now integral parts of UK training. Whilst some of the processes seem like hoop-jumping, bear in mind that these tools are going nowhere and so ought to be optimised.
Opportunities for junior trainees to operate are fewer and come later these days. You need to be ready to optimise them as they present themselves. Get ahead of the game by knowing what’s on tomorrow’s list. Read about cases beforehand (as well old school textbooks, you may find TouchSurgery’s apps of use - https://www.touchsurgery.com). When it comes to surgical skills, the same logic follows. Be proactive in nudging yourself up the learning curve in your own time. Use your local simulation facilities (or get hold of an eosim for laparascopic training) and make sure that all opportunities are optimised.