Hey everyone, my name’s Danny and I’m part of the STARSurg steering committee. My official role is helping co-ordinate and organise the appointment of regional leads at each medical school – as well as making sure everything runs smoothly for the regional leads throughout the study period – so you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot from me. Last year I was a regional lead for Leicester medical school before moving up the STARSurg ladder and we thought it would be useful for you to read my experience of the regional role.
So why be a regional lead? There are many reasons as to why regional lead positions are great. First of all it’s a great opportunity to learn more about audit and research and what happens behind the scenes a little bit in terms of audit registration etc. This is a really useful skill for your future careers in whatever speciality you end up in as audits will definitely form part of your working life. Secondly, STARSurg has a range of other events and courses that you get first dibs on which help you develop your skill set in academic life. Being a lead is also a great opportunity for networking within STARSurg and the wider surgical community which is great for those considering a career in surgery. You’ll make friends and contacts you would have never have met before, and it’s often nice to socialise with fellow members at conferences and events! All regional leads also have the opportunity to apply for the steering committee when applications are available – something again I’d highly recommend.
Perhaps the most rewarding thing about being a regional lead is watching data collection progress successfully and knowing this is from your hard work. In Leicester for the IMAGINE study I co-ordinated roughly 60 students, doctors and consultants across 5 different hospital sites and I found it really rewarding seeing peoples enthusiasm and interest in surgery and academia grow through the efforts I’d put in locally. Often students are keen to be involved in research but don’t have the opportunities – so it’s a nice feeling that you are helping them develop. Being a regional lead does come with challenges but STARSurg are there along the entire journey to make sure you are supported in your role!
If you don’t have any previous experience with STARSurg or with research and audit, don’t worry – these skills can be learnt and I wouldn’t let this discourage you from applying for the regional position. If you have any questions please do get in touch with STARSurg or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org.