President’s Message


Matt Mason

Over the last few months there have been a couple of pressing issues affecting surgical trainees that may or may not have taken your interest. AUGISt has been working with ASiT to try and improve the outcomes for trainees.

The most obvious issues that have affected upper GI trainees are that of endoscopy training. All AUGISt, Duke’s and ASiT members were invited to take part in a national survey of endoscopy training. The responses revealed a very mixed picture across the country, with some trainees gaining excellent training and others having few opportunities. We have been working to improve and standardise the access to training; the changes in the upcoming curriculum are a good opportunity to implement this, although there are a number of competing interests in the design of the new curriculum and it is likely to take considerable pressure to see this through.

The new curriculum itself is well on the way through the development process and we can expect to see a draft document produced by the SAC fairly soon. It is not yet clear how a new subspecialty of “Emergency General Surgery” will fit into this and whether this will impact on the ability of trainees to gain competency in the traditional complex upper GI work if that is their desired career. Changes in the curriculum may not affect you directly; however they may impact on your successors and potentially your future consultant colleagues, so it is worth giving some thought.

An updated version of the eLogbook is in the development stage at present. I think you will agree that the current version is inadequate for the specialist upper GI trainee, in terms of the way our operations are broken down into stages. Hopefully the changes will mean that we will be able to more accurately represent the operations we do.

The upcoming AUGIS conference in Edinburgh has a fantastic scientific programme, and represents a significant departure from previous conferences. Please do look closely at the proposed programme and try to come along. This year’s conference has a diverse array of topics and speakers, providing interest to all breeds of Upper GI surgeon. Due to the logistics of travel the training day is in the morning of the first day of the conference. Whilst it is necessarily slightly shorter than normal, the opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced consultants in the country should not be missed and I would encourage as many of you as possible to make the trip. As ever the conference will not be all work and no play! The Gala Dinner represents a good opportunity to let your hair down and enjoy the company of your colleagues and the city of Edinburgh.

Finally, I am coming to the end of my tenure as AUGISt president. It has been a great privilege to represent the organisation.

Matt Mason
President, AUGISt