Travel Scholarship Report by Dr. Oonagh Molloy

My travel scholarship took me to both Central London and Newcastle for the Royal Society of Medicine December meeting and the British Society of Dermatological Surgery surgical course held annually.

The Royal Society of Medicine welcomes Clinico-pathological cases from inside and outside of the U.K. each December and January. These meetings allow for clinical presentation and discussion of rare and complex cases in the absence of patients travelling to the event. I am happy to report that there was, as always, a strong Irish dermatology presence both presenting and in the audience.

The cases discussed were very diverse ranging from “Blueberry Muffin syndrome” to Liquorice tea resulting in a  “Buffalo hump” and including my own case “ A rare case of Granulocytic sarcoma associated with a Plasmacytoma”.

The discussion was lively and informative, having many leading dermatologists chairing the meeting and participating from the audience.

The RSM remains a highly regarded forum for discussion of complex cases with the benefit of international expertise. I was delighted to have taken part and would highly recommend the experience it to any trainee Dermatologist.

Just this month, I set off a maiden voyage to Newcastle for the annual BSDS surgical skills course. Newcastle and it’s hinterland forms one of the largest trusts in the U.K.  The Royal Victoria Infirmary has gained a reputation for excellence in surgery and MOH's surgery, taking on 2 Dermatological Surgery fellows each year. Indeed, several Irish past fellows returned and participated in the teaching.

The course is designed for both basic and more advanced skill levels. It encompasses 3 days of lectures and practical sessions and an optional extra 2 early morning sessions on advanced techniques conducted by the pioneering  Dr. Cliff Lawrence.

The scope of the clinical lectures focused on anatomy, equipment and surgical techniques, including electrocautery and electrodessication. The more advanced lectures covered closure techniques including grafts and flaps and an introduction to MOH's surgery. The primary focus was on choosing the right procedure and closure option for the individual patient. 

Finally, complications and medico-legal matters were discussed in detail, leaving the audience with a touch of anxiety.

 As a junior SpR I felt I greatly benefitted from the course which was thorough and relevant to practice. In addition I bring home with me new surgical techniques which will stand me in good stead during my specialist training.

Finally, I would like to thank the IAD for receipt of this travel scholarship which enabled me to attend  two training events this year.

Happy Easter.

Oonagh Molloy

Dermatology SpR UCHG.