A St George’s, University of London medical student will represent London in the UK-wide Student Surgical Skills Competition, after winning the London regional heat.

Fifth-year student Ismail Vokshi has made it through to the final of the competition, run each year by the The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd).

Demonstrating a range of surgical skills from suturing to knot tying, Ismail, beat off competition from 36 fellow London medical students, including others from St George's, Barts and The London, University College London, King’s College London and Imperial College London.

The Student Surgical Skills Competition sees medical students from across the UK competing in regional heats to be in with a chance of making it through to the grand final in Edinburgh on 9 March 2013. The overall winner will win a trip to sponsors Johnson and Johnson Medical Companies’ European Surgical Training Institute in Hamburg later in the year.

Commenting on making it through to the grand final of the competition, Ismail said: “I feel ecstatic about the prospect of going to the final. I know that the final will be a lot harder, but I look forward to the chance to get to learn from and practice new techniques in front of experienced surgeons. I know that this will be an indelible learning experience.

“It was a great experience competing in the London heat of the Surgical Skills Competition. It gave me a chance to show my skills and have experienced surgeons assess them. It was also a great chance to learn different ways of doing things, which helped to improve my skills. It was a challenging competition. The skills assessed were basic but there were many very capable students, which made winning very hard.”

Explaining more about the competition, heat convenor Mr Roop Tandon said: “RCSEd is committed to supporting and encouraging surgical training opportunities for young aspiring surgeons wherever possible and the Surgical Skills Competition provides an excellent opportunity for medical students with aspirations towards a surgical career to have the opportunity to demonstrate their surgical skills and enhance their training.

“The London heat was contested by a large number of students, all keen to demonstrate and further develop their surgical skills. I am pleased to see a worthy winner go forward from the heat to the grand final, and I hope that Ismail goes on to do well in Edinburgh in March of next year.”

For further information about the Student Surgical Skills Competition, visit www.rcsed.ac.uk.