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Irish Scholar Enjoys Excellent Exchange Experience at Clinical Congress

Shirley Potter, MB, BCh, BAO, BSc (Anat), FRCS (Plast), PhD

I was fortunate enough to attend the annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in Washington, October 16–20, 2016. This was made possible through the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons (RAS-ACS) International Scholarship Exchange Program.

The Clinical Congress was full of very interesting sessions—meeting the experts, as well as theoretical and practical courses concerning a wide range of different surgical specialties such as cardiac surgery, thoracic surgery, endocrine, liver and pancreas, colon and rectum, and many others. The Convocation of the new Fellows and inaugural ceremony of the Clinical Congress were very impressive.

My specialty is plastic and reconstructive Surgery. I mostly attended sessions focused on plastic surgery, surgical oncology, trauma, and surgeon scientists. We were treated to a combination of didactic talks, video sessions, and informal sessions. I found the experience extremely informative. I particularly enjoyed the sessions on lymphedema and breast reconstruction and the discussions on the new AJCC classification. I also found the expo extremely useful—learning about new technologies, dressings, and instruments on offer, and even purchasing a new pair of surgical loupes

The RAS-ACS Membership Committee was extremely friendly and made me feel very welcome in such an immense gathering of people. They ensured I was looked after and that I was introduced to other international scholars and Fellows associated with RAS-ACS. I particularly enjoyed making the podcast with the RAS-ACS communications committee, during which we discussed the different approaches to training across the world. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Heidi Hon, MD, and Priya Iyer, MD, my hosts from the RAS-ACS Membership Committee, for making my trip to Washington so enjoyable. I would highly recommend this program to surgical trainees in Ireland and look forward to maintaining contact with the new friends that I met in Washington.

I found Washington to be a great city to visit, full of historic landmarks and architecture and a surprisingly pleasant climate at that time of year!

I would like to thank the Resident and Associate Society and the American College of Surgeons for the great opportunity and I hope to visit the congress again in 2017.

Shirley Potter, MB, BCh, BAO, BSc (Anat), FRCS (Plast), PhD, is an Irish-trained plastic and reconstructive surgeon currently doing a fellowship in oncoplastic reconstruction at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia.

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