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King's medical student will represent London at the RCSEd National Student Surgical Skills Competition Grand Final

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh's renowned Student Surgical Skills Competition gives aspiring surgeons in their final year of UK medical school an opportunity to practise and compete in surgical challenges against their peers from across the UK.

Current fifth year GKT School of Medical Education student Jack Gao competed at the London heat on 22 October 2016 where he was named the winner. He will now compete in the Grand Final on 18 February 2017.

Jack Gaoheard about the competition through the KCL Surgical Society and thought it would be a good experience. I definitely didn’t go into it thinking I’d win! Jack revealed.

The competition included five stations that tested the students on their suturing, knot tying, anatomy, non-technical skills such as time management, laparoscopic and keyhole surgery.

I was really nervous. At first I didn’t think I was doing well at all. I was trembling a lot and my stitching was diagonal. But after a while I got into the flow of it. My knot tying went well and for anatomy you either know it or you don’t. As I worked through it I seemed to find my stride.

I really enjoyed the day, it was a really good opportunity to practice my surgical skills and the atmosphere on the day was really friendly and encouraging.

When asked about the upcoming Grand Final, Jack is taking it all in his stride: A King’s exam is actually more taxing than the London heat was, he laughed.

In the back of my mind of course it would be nice to win. Winning the London heats was great and the experience has been amazing. It’ll be nice to go to Edinburgh, it’s a lovely city.

The challenges will be different and there’s such a great opportunity to do surgical tasks that I wouldn’t normally get to do and learn about diffeent techniques. Once I graduate I’ll look to do my Foundation year and move into ENT surgery so all of this is fantastic experience for the future.

We wish Jack all the best in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh’s renowned National Student Surgical Skills Competition Grand Final on 18 February 2017.