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Inspiring the next generation of surgeons
  1. Shujhat Khan
  1. Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Shujhat Khan, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK; sk7015{at}


The shortage of applicants looking to enter surgical specialties is well documented. Indeed, there are a number of reasons for this ranging from potential flaws within the training pathway to a lack of both financial and social support in what is undoubtedly a stressful career pathway. However, it is important that we discuss these shortcomings and exploit such opportunities to make surgery a more attractive prospect. These changes include adapting student’s experience while still at medical school through changes to the medical curriculum and surgical rotations. In addition, it is important to assess what factors applicants prioritise when applying for specialty training, and addressing the gender divide within surgery so as to remove barriers for progression in surgical training. Similarly, by encouraging research within surgery, it improves treatment options for patients as well as motivating those more academically inclined to pursue this specialty. This can produce more proficient surgeons and improve the competitiveness of training posts within remote regions in the UK. Ultimately, these changes will likely translate to more satisfied trainees and improved patient care.

  • medical education and training
  • surgery

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  • Contributors SK is the sole contributor to this article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.