The Mammary Fold Session is always scheduled for the first slot on the second day of the ABS Conference. A few bleary eyes entered the room, the morning after the Annual Dinner, to listen to the varied talks of the morning. However, these eyes were soon wide with hope and excitement about the changes proposed to the 2018 general surgery curriculum.
Mr Jonathan Lund, SAC Chair for General Surgery, outlined the proposal he was to take forward to the GMC. It was really refreshing to hear the voice of someone who understood the evolving practice of the specialties within general surgery and a training pathway that should allow flexibility for upcoming breast trainees. Watch this space!
Mr Stuart McIntosh, Queen's University, Belfast, then followed with an insightful talk looking at incorporating academic and research activity into a consultant career. How we can contribute to research as NHS surgeons and how to overcome some of the perceived barriers to clinical research. The importance of the team approach, enthusiasm and utilizing local expertise. Both sides of clinical research were outlined with the challenges and the great rewards that this work can bring to us and, more importantly, to patients.
Moving on to something completely different with Miss Isabella Dash and an account of her Australian breast surgery fellowship;this was an enlightening overview of what can be achieved and experienced outside of the UK. Although very hard work, her time appeared to have a wonderful balance of surgery, leadership, travel and enjoying the ‘Aussie lifestyle’.
Then onto Preparing For a Consultant Career as a Breast Surgeon. Mrs Julia Henderson, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, gave a focused presentation for those of us heading towards job applications; how to look for a post, preparation during this time, what to do when the job is advertised, after short listing and key tips for the interview. She then moved on to negotiating the job plan and making the transition from trainee to consultant.
Finally, the morning was rounded off with Miss Shelley Potter giving an update from the Mammary Fold Academic and Research Collaborative (MFAC). The main focus was the wonderful work of the iBRA study, ahead of her main presentation later on that day giving the results of the study. As always Shelley’s enthusiasm shone through, encouraging us to collaborate and be involved in the wonderful work that the MFAC facilitates. The second Academic and Research Day in Birmingham was again a great success;anyone can get involved and attend to pitch their ideas for future projects that could be as successful as iBRA - you just need to enter an abstract for 2018!