ABS Fellowships and Observerships

On this page, you will find information about ABS Fellowships and Observerships


Association of Breast Surgery Educational Fellowships

In light of the current travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic the ABS Trustees have decided not to offer Educational Fellowships in 2020.  Information about future Educational Fellowships will appear here in due course.

For any queries please contact 020 7869 6853 or mbartholomew@absgbi.org.uk 



The Association of Breast Surgery (ABS) Education and Training Committee has been working with members of the ABS to identify centres prepared to offer local observerships.

On this page you will find a list of centres across the UK that are prepared to offer observerships for UK Consultants, Specialty Doctors and Trainees wishing to gain further knowledge on various surgical procedures.

The ABS are only acting as an information point and are not responsible for any accreditation of the observerships undertaken and stress that this is a local arrangement to be made between the host and the observer.

If you have any questions about these observerships or if you are interested in becoming an observer at any of these units, please contact Margarita Bartholomew (mbartholomew@absgbi.org.uk) or telephone 0207 869 6853.

Observership Centres


Mr Steven Thrush

Worcestershire Royal Hospital 

Mr Simon Cawthorn

Southmead Hospital, Bristol 

Mr Avi Agrawal

Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth 

Mr Richard Sutton

Royal United Hospital, Bath 

Miss Raghavan Vidya

Royal Wolverhampton Hospital

Ms Siobhan Laws

Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester 

Mr Douglas Ferguson

Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital 

Mr Brendan Smith

Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading 

Mr Yazan Masannat

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary 


International Oncoplastic Fellowship in the United Kingdom I am currently pursuing an International Fellowship in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery at the University Hospitals of North Midlands, Stoke on-Trent, United Kingdom. My prior training was in Surgical Oncology at the Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India. The concept of an oncoplastic breast surgeon is relatively new in India, with very few breast surgeons practising oncoplastic techniques. Thus, an international fellowship in breast oncoplastic has a lot to offer. The one-year program is ideal to guide candidates through the concepts, especially for those surgeons having basic training in breast surgery or surgical oncology.

I have learnt the surgical techniques of skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomy, implant-based whole breast reconstructions, autologous partial breast reconstructions using perforator flaps, reduction mammoplasty, lipomodelling, nipple reconstruction and tattooing; something which is beyond cancer treatment but equally important. Also, I have had good hands-on experience with breast-conserving surgery, wire-guided breast conservation surgery and sentinel node biopsy, which is relatively less common in India. Various reconstructive options to be considered for each patient and treatment planning are taught as well. The tumour board meetings have provided an excellent opportunity to keep up with the current evidence in breast cancer and decision-making. As an oncoplastic fellow, I am in charge of oncoplastic tumour board meetings conducted every fortnight; oncoplastic breast surgeons and plastic surgeons attend these jointly.

The fellowship also has good scope for clinical research and audits. I have been involved in service evaluation audits, retrospective and prospective clinical studies and teaching of surgical trainees and medical students. This has benefited me in the form of presentations at national and international meetings and research publications. A comfortable work atmosphere, intense high-volume elective work with no on-call commitments and two sessions a week dedicated for research, helps me do justice to my work. Managing clinics is probably something one does not look forward to but has a good role to play in developing communication skills and patient counselling, things that are of benefit in the long-term. It is also a good time to take Royal College examinations, attend surgical workshops and develop a professional network. I have completed my MRCS during the fellowship; there is an opportunity to apply for MS oncoplastic course.

To conclude, there is a lot to learn and take back home. I will be able to provide options of partial and immediate breast reconstruction to breast cancer patients when indicated, a huge psychological benefit as compared to a mastectomy. Autologous reconstructions would be a big advantage considering the cost of implant-based reconstructions and financial constraints of most patients in India. I also look forward to training general and breast surgeons from India in oncoplastic techniques, in collaboration with my colleagues in the United Kingdom.

Mihir Chandarana
International Training Fellow
University Hospitals of North Midlands