Aspiring Swansea students show they are a “cut above the rest”

Two Swansea University 4th year medical students demonstrated their exceptional surgical skills by beating off tough competition to come first and second in the Welsh heat of a national surgical skills competition.

Emman Qattan

Emman Qattan won the competition with her colleague Katherine Hurst placed second. Emman will now represent Wales in the UK Grand Final on 9 March 2013.

Emman, originally from Saudi Arabia, made it through to the final of the nationwide Surgical Skills Competition after competing against 18 fellow medical students at the Wales regional heat of the competition by demonstrating a range of her surgical skills, from suturing and knot-tying to undertaking a series of key-hole surgical tests.

Organised by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), 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. 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, Emman Qattan said:

“I was mostly surprised when I was announced as the winner - I wasn’t expecting to win, I was just looking forward to taking part and seeing what the day was like. The competition was more fun than challenging, everyone was in a great mood and we were all encouraging each other along, so it didn’t really feel like a competition.

“ I hope taking part in this competition will help my career ambitions - it’s a way of showing you’re interested in surgery so that’s always a positive, as well gives as a good chance to meet new people and network. I think it speaks volumes for the College and this competition that there is such a great prize up for grabs. That I’m in with a chance is debatable, I’m just really happy to be taking part.”

Explaining more about the competition, Regional Surgical Adviser, Angus Roberston said:

“It is important that the surgical profession continue to attract those with both high academic ability and technical skills into surgery. The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has a proud history of fostering these vital attributes, both during training and consultant practice.

“Through this competition and an associated academic meeting, Welsh medical students have had the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to what is a highly competitive but rewarding surgical career. I believe that the overall standard of the competition was extremely high this year and in Emman that we are sending an excellent candidate to represent Wales in the final.”

For further information about the Student Surgical Skills Competition, visit

Picture: RCSEd Regional Surgical Advisers Alan de Bolla (left) and Angus Robertson (right) with Wales Regional Heat winner, 4th Year Swansea University student, Emman Qattan.