NSLHD News Feb 25


Dr Michael Symes with Prof. Bill Walter (left) and Prof. Tom Hugh

A celebration of surgical research and innovation was recently held with the combined presentation of the Harry Cumberland Travelling Scholarship and the inaugural Ray Hollings Surgical Excellence Award. Both awards have been established through generous philanthropic donations from the surgeons they are named after. They will be offered annually to provide support for research, innovation and

quality improvement. The event was jointly hosted by the Surgical Education Research & Training (SERT) Institute and the RNSH Department of Gastroenterology. NSLHD Chief Executive Deb Willcox acknowledged the significant contribution both Dr Cumberland and Dr Hollings made throughout their extensive surgical careers across the Northern

Sydney Local Health District, and appreciation for their ongoing support and generosity to enable these prestigious awards. “Congratulations to the successful recipients, I feel incredibly proud when I think about the capability here at Royal North Shore and across the district and to be able to acknowledge people with these two awards is really quite special” she said.

How COVID has changed medical classrooms The pandemic has changed the way we work – but also the way our future doctors study. For the past two years, doctors-in-training, their lecturers, and their tutors have had to overcome the challenges thrown at them by COVID-19, like medical student Vera Miao and tutor Dr Animesh Singla.

was going to be moved online, or if our tutorial was still happening that day. “It meant that we all had to be flexible and adaptable to those last minute changes.” Animesh said while students were often not able to fulfil traditional style placements – they remained resilient, and helped each other and the wards however they could. “We know students learn and get the most out of being able to examine and speak to patients, they absorb more, but the restrictions meant they often couldn’t do that,” he said.

“When COVID first hit, my fellow medical students and I were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to continue our hospital placements and that graduation would be delayed.” Vera said. “Sometimes we just didn’t know if our placement would be changed, or if our exam



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