We are seeing increasing reports of the lack of engagement and recruitment of new graduates to the surgical disciplines. There is a dearth of training courses available for aspiring surgical trainees. It may take up to three years for newly qualified doctors and aspiring surgeon to get to theatre and actually handle surgical instruments. This is perhaps too late to realise that surgery may not be for you or frustrating that you have not been able to handle instruments before being expected to perform in theatre. Trainees are getting less and less time in the operating theatre to learn basic surgical skills. Wetlabs and simulators are not widely available and paradoxically, according to the literature, the most high fidelity labs are under lock and key and under used. We need a system of training and practice that can be achieved under supervision but carried out at home.
The profession would further benefit from identifying and encouraging surgeons early in their careers: many medical schools have Surgical Societies and many aspiring surgeons were drawn to the profession at school. It is never too early to start: looking at the age most our champion sports men and women started to acquire their skills.