RCSI Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland



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Letter to TPDs

April 11th 2017


HST subspecialty program directors

Royal College of Surgeons,

123 St Stephen’s Green,

Dublin 2.



Dear colleagues,


We write on behalf of the Irish Surgical Training Group (ISTG) – the representative body of all surgical trainees, including SpRs and CSTs from all surgical subspecialties in Ireland.


As a voice of the trainees, we consider it important to advocate trainee concerns to the college as our training body. The current generation of senior SpRs have seen many iterations of the training scheme since changes were implemented in 2008. While we welcome change and improvement for trainees, the flux in surgical training in Ireland has led to significant unrest amongst trainees. Many trainees feel that the benchmarks and standards imposed by surgical training committees are too often changed, and without consultation. With the changeable selection processes, more and more of our young aspiring surgeons are opting to pursue other subspecialties or surgery in other countries. It is our opinion that the multitude of transformations to training over the last decade have rendered surgical training in Ireland unstable, and thus we are in somewhat of a crisis in terms of trainee recruitment and retention.


In an attempt to remediate this, we feel that communication with trainees and training program directors should be improved. Crucially, we wish to be represented at committee level on those committees where decision-making relevant to surgical training is undertaken. To this end, we would like to formally request an invitation for trainee representatives at all HST committee meetings henceforth in order to create transparency for communication channels between the college and trainees.



We look forward to hearing your responses, and urge your ongoing commitment to trainees.


With Thanks,



Mary Nugent,

ISTG Chair

On behalf of the ISTG Committee