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The President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England will visit Ulster University’s School of Medicine in Derry – Londonderry today to meet Northern Ireland’s doctors in training. This visit is part of a three-day trip to Northern Ireland to meet local surgeons, educators and trainees to learn about their experiences during the pandemic.

The President of the Royal College of Surgeons will meet the education team at the School of Medicine and tour the newly refurbished facilities which are further securing Magee’s reputation as Hub for health and innovation. Professor Mortensen will meet with a small group of students (with backgrounds as diverse as business management, biology and a range of other healthcare professions) to discuss his career path and the Derry-based students’ aspirations for the future.

This evening, Professor Neil Mortensen is set to deliver a twilight lecture titled ‘The Pathway to Recovery’ this evening. In this lecture, he will reflect on the health service’s ability to innovate in the face of a pandemic and overcome the current challenge of getting surgery levels back up to full tilt. His lecture which is sure to inspire the next generation of medical professionals, will also chart his career journey from medical school to Professor of Surgery, and now College President.

Professor Neil Mortensen, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said:

“This School of Medicine is a wonderful asset for Northern Ireland. It will help to create the bright new health leaders of tomorrow. We are very supportive of medical training. Our surgical trainees in particular have borne the brunt of many cancelled elective operations and are struggling to get the operational experience they need to qualify.

As well as addressing the workforce crisis in the short term, it is vital to create a resilient workforce that can meet the needs of the population long-term. We need to create health teams with the right skills mix, in order to provide primary, secondary and emergency care.

A career in medicine can be so rewarding. We believe in the highest standards of surgical care. We have the brightest stars of tomorrow here in our midst. This visit to the School of Medicine at Ulster University will celebrate their journey.”

Mr. Mark Taylor, Northern Ireland Director at The Royal College of Surgeons of England and Visiting Professor at the School of Medicine said:

“Following the publication of the Bengoa Report in 2016, where we highlighted the benefit of a second medical school, particularly in the North West of Northern Ireland, it gives me great pleasure to bring the President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, to this School of Medicine at Ulster University’s Magee Campus.

The combined activity of the two medical schools in Northern Ireland will lead to a greater enhancement of our workforce long term, which was a core recommendation of the 2019 Gardiner report. This will be critical to the future of the delivery of quality health and social care in the province.”

Professor Louise Dubras, Foundation Dean at the School of Medicine said:

‘‘Having opened our doors exactly six months ago, it will be a privilege to welcome Professor Neil Mortensen to the School of Medicine. I look forward to introducing him to the world-class team of medical educators that I have assembled here in Derry-Londonderry and to our students.

They are currently undertaking clinical placements in the region and encountering many of the themes which the Royal College of Surgeons works tirelessly to address. With the City Deal projects that Ulster University will deliver and 800 health sciences students soon to relocate to Magee alongside our world-class School of Nursing; it is an exciting time for medical and health professions education in the region. I am very proud to welcome the Royal College of Surgeons to our Magee campus.”

At the School of Medicine, the first full cohort of medical students begin semester two: Applications have closed for 2022 entry and interviews took place in January.