ASiT Conference 2007
The Waterfront Hall | Belfast | Northern Ireland
Friday 30 March - Sunday 1 April
The ASiT conference for 2007 will come at a time of much uncertaintly for trainees when the implementation of MMC is stepping up a gear with the selection and recruitment processes, yet the need for trainee motivation and voice has never been greater.
The Annual conference and AGM continues to grow in size and quality, and this year will be held in Belfast, Northern Ireland, picking up where the conference in Edinburgh left off. Our venue is the prominent world-class conference facility at the Belfast Waterfront Hall.
For the first time there will be an Advanced Trauma Surgical Care (ATSC) course held on the Friday, an opportunity to develop your surgical trauma skills under the supervision of some leading National and International experts in this field.
There has never been a better time to submit an abstract to the meeting. Strengthened links with the Society of Academic and Research Surgery has led to the development of the SARS/ASiT prize. This is a considerable recognition of the scientific component of the ASiT conference that has developed over time. This year will feature 3 separate prize sessions, with the SARS/ASiT Prize, the prestigious ASiT medal, and the ASiT Poster prize. The top abstracts from these sessions will be invited to re-present their material at the ASGBI Conference, will be published.
The Gala Dinner will take place in the Historic Belfast City Hall, hosted by Belfast City Council, and promises to be a night to remember.
A Welcome From the President
We would like to invite you to come to the ASiT conference in Belfast in 2007. The events of the year since the last conference have been telling, and it would be rare for surgical training to come under so much threat as it is today. Indeed the future of the whole profession is in question through MMC, the WTD, the role of non-medically qualified surgeons, and the provision of surgical services in the commuinty. It is, therefore, perhaps fitting that we find ourselves meeting with those in charge of our destiny, in a city that has seen American Presidents, Prime Ministers, and local politicians all strive to find a lasting peace.
Belfast has long been associated with conflict, troubles, and divided constituents, in many ways similar to the current Surgical Profession. However, it is a changing city, vibrant and youthful, having found a new lease of life in 'peacetime', and has established itself among the top tourist destinations in the UK and Europe. Belfast has become cosmopolitan, and has numerous high quality restaurants, hotels, and other nightlife, attracting a large number of visitors each year.
This conference is designed to give the trainees an opportunity to develop themselves through the scientific component, as well as providing insight to personal and professional development, to address all of the generic needs that are becoming more important, and will be relevant to the selection process. Finally, it would not be an ASiT confernce if we did not give the trainees a chance to directly converese with, and question, those responsible for our future training.
The membership of ASiT is to be congratulated for the activity in discussing the issues through the ASiT e-group, and giving the council the mandate to act on their behalf. We are encouraged by this participation and look forward to strengthening this further through the conference in 2007.
The programme is designed to reflect the needs of trainees for the future, in terms of personal and professional development. At a time when salaries are decreasing and the future job prospects are bleak, what can we do to secure our future? Hopefully Professor Rowlands and Mr Rodney Peyton will be able to shed a little light on these issues. With regards to our training, there are so many threats to the time available, and what is the use and avalability of simulation? The non-technical factors are becoming ever more important, and we can all learn lessons from the airline industry, so having a pilot, Tony Giddings, and Professor Tony Gallagher will help sort out these factors. We shall reveal the identity of the 2007 Silver Scalpel Award winner and welcome back last year’s winner, Ms Fiona MacNeill. Stimulating talks on the new surgical curriculum, the role of academic surgery and building your CV, as well as addressing the topic of training in trauma will provide interesting, but practical information for trainees. The highlight for many though will be the opportunity to hear, and question, the Presidents of our Surgical Colleges and address many concerns that currently exist.
The Gala Dinner on Saturday evening will provide ample opportunity to have more relaxed discussions whilst the Irish entertainement will ensure that you are kept on your toes, suitably amused, and well entertained.
I encourage you to enjoy your time in this beautiful and historic city, and pehaps take some time to visit Northern Ireland, the beauty of the Giant's Causeway, the delights of the Bushmills Distillery, the home of the Titanic, and the history of the ‘troubles’, to give some ideas. An accompanying persons programme will be available, and Befast is a great place to bring your family, to participate in the weekend.
I hope that you will feel empowered by the knowledge of what we have achieved in the past, so that we can continue to have a positive influence on Surgical Training in the UK, and we look forward to welcoming you to the conference.
Conor Marron- ASiT President