MRCS Conferring Speech by the



Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland


at Penang Medical College    


Aug 19th 2011


President of Penang Medical College, Mr Brendan Lyons, Dean Prof Amir Khir, Dr Yasmin, Director of Penang Hospital, Mr Tan Wee Jin, Chief of Surgery, Penang Hospital, Faculty, Ladies and Gentlemen

...and of course most importantly, new Members of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, it is a great pleasure to be here in Penang, and to welcome you all to the 2011 membership conferring ceremony.

May I start by congratulating our new members. You can be very proud of your achievement today, because the membership exam is a difficult and comprehensive test of knowledge, which has been internationally benchmarked and accredited. You can be sure that each of you can compete with your peers in any country, in terms of your knowledge in basic surgery at this level. This qualification allows you to step onto the next rung of the ladder of surgical training, whether you wish to stay in general surgery or pursue a specialty.

The MRCSI is an internationally recognised qualification, and it also allows you to apply for, and sit the Intercollegiate Fellowship exam. At present, as you know, the Intercollegiate specialty fellowship exams are only held in Great Britain and Ireland, which makes it very difficult if not impossible for many of you to avail of it.

But discussions are at an advanced stage between the 4 Royal Colleges of Surgeons to hold these exams in the Middle and Far East. In the same way as the Membership you have just taken is identical to the exam carried out in Great Britain and Ireland, the proposal is that the Specialty exams would also be identical in content and standard. Again this will mean that you will be able to avail of a qualification which will have international recognition, and signal to your patients and your peers that you have achieved an international standard.

We hope to have finalised discussions about the exams before the end of this year, and to be in a position to hold the first diet, which will be in general surgery, in 2012.

As a new member of our College, you will now be joining more than 3000 fellows and members in 70 countries around the world. Along with your parchment, you will be receiving an information pack to-day. As a member in good standing, you will be on the mailing list for all RCSI communications, so it is really important that you update us about any changes in your contact details. You will have on-line access to the Surgeon – the surgical journal jointly published by the Colleges of surgery of Ireland and Edinburgh – and you will receive copies of News Scope, which is the RCSI surgical newsletter. You will have access to the Mercer Library, and will be able to vote in the Council elections.

Being in regular contact with you means we update you about changes in the College, when we are having members and alumni functions in your area, and timetables for exams and courses.

We also value your feedback. Let us know if there are other ways in which we can support your careers – should we hold courses in management and leadership here for example?

We would like to feel that you will have an ongoing connection with RCSI, and that you will always have a sense of pride in the letters which you will now put after your name.

I’d like to finish by thanking all the people who contributed to making this exam such a success.

  • ·        Dr Yasmin and Mr Tan for allowing us access to Penang General Hospital
  • ·        Similarly Mr Lyons and his team here in Penang Medical College
  • ·        A special thank you to our examiners from both Penang and overseas for taking time out of their busy professional and personal lives to help RCSI fulfil its critical function of surgical training and assessment
  • ·        Jacinta who travelled from Dublin and made sure we were all in the right place at the right time
  • ·        And especially to Prof Premnath, whose enthusiasm and dedication are pivotal to the success of the exams and the surgical skills courses held here

Finally, I would like to again congratulate the new Members and indeed their families on their achievement to-day. And, on behalf of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, I wish you every success in your future careers in surgery.

Thank you



Professor Eilis McGovern


Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland