Hello, my name is Melika, a recent appointee to this year’s STARSurg Steering Committee. I first joined the collaborative as a data collector for the OAKS 1 project investigating the incidence of acute kidney injury following surgery. The insight gained and valuable learning experiences garnered have meant that I remained involved with the network for my successive medical school years; later undertaking the role of Regional Lead for King’s College London for the OAKS 2 and IMAGINE projects, the latter in partnership with EuroSurg.
I owe much of my knowledge on the foundations required for a successful research initiative, with the potential to derive outcomes and conclusions translatable to clinical practice, to STARSurg. The operational setup of the collaborative instils medical students with the confidence to become involved in research from their early pre-clinical years and subsequently supports their progress into the other avenues of academia including scientific writing, data analysis and the pre-requisites requested for ethical approval. Regional Leads play an important part in delivery of the central plans to local sites and therefore implementation of core stages of the study. Tasks may include recruitment of dedicated collaborators to mini-teams, supporting registration of the study with the audit departments at each Trust and overseeing tasks that would enable amalgamation of high quality data. There are indispensable active learning points for the Regional Lead within each of the aforementioned engagements.
I am now a long-standing advocate of collaborative efforts for advancing research in the field of surgery and see the STARSurg collaboration as a potent front to spearhead progress. With this agenda in mind, I would strongly encourage keen medical students striving to expand their remit in academic medicine, to apply for the Regional Lead position.