Earlier this month we announced 5 new student committee members following a very competitive application process.
Ibrahim Yasin is a 3rd year medical student at the University of Southampton. He talks through his route through STARSurg:
My progression through STARSurg initially began when I volunteered as a collaborator for OAKS-1. This involved collecting data from computer systems for an hour or two most evenings (This was flexible as my mini team would split the work load).
Shortly after completing OAKS-1. STARSurg e-mailed with regards to regional lead positions being available. The application process was quick and easy. It involved completing an online form with personal details and some questions. At this particular time, I had little experience of audit and research but was able to demonstrate examples of transferable skills that would be most beneficial. Once I had submitted, it wasn’t long before I had heard back with the news that I was accepted for the role.
STARSurg had also e-mailed about available steering committee positions. I felt however that becoming a regional lead first would provide me with the necessary experience and insight in order for me to apply to join the steering committee. The application process was very much the same. You had to demonstrate active interest and involvement in STARSurg activities and write about what makes you suitable for the role. This was followed by a quick telephone interview which was informal and friendly.
I personally believe that STARSurg offers some of the best opportunities to get involved in audit and research. There is great advantage to being part of a collaborative, it means that you can be fully involved in the entire process whilst having the necessary guidance and support when needed!
When I became a regional lead for STARSurg, I held the responsibility of delivering the OAKS-1 follow-up study (OAKS-2) across different hospital sites in Wessex. This region contained 11 active hospitals, which is one of the highest numbers in the UK for this project. This meant that organisation and time management were key to serving the role to its full potential.
In general, I could summarise my duties as follows:
- Recruiting collaborators via an application based system
- Providing collaborators with detailed instructions on how to conduct the audit
- Coordinating mini teams and placing them in contact with audit offices
- Communicating between the steering committee and mini teams
- Publicising other ongoing STARSurg events
(The steering committee were extremely helpful if I was facing any difficulties and I would be able to contact them over social messaging platforms for quick advice)
As a regional lead, you have the opportunity to write papers for publications and attend massively oversubscribed courses such as Hack day and GRANULE. You also have the chance to develop a network with other like-minded individuals across the UK which opens a whole new window of opportunities.
All in all, I am grateful for being part of a collaborative that places medical students at its heart and I would definitely recommend the position of regional lead to anyone. It is truly an amazing opportunity with great and rare experiences that allow you to develop a unique skill set and have a great time whilst doing so.