Our surgeons of the future are set to benefit from cutting edge virtual reality (VR) training, after the trust's Medical Simulation Centre scooped a prestigious national award.Future's made of VR.jpeg

The Royal Free London’s (RFL) Medical Simulation Centre and University College London (UCL) Surgical Society won the award which will help fund training for our medical students to practice procedures in a realistic 3D environment.

Pasquale Berlingieri, head of the RFL’s screen-based simulation service, and UCL Surgical Society president Zahra Ahmed (pictured above) teamed up to take part in the ‘battle of the surgical societies’ prize at the Association of Surgeons in Training annual event.

They competed against surgical societies from across the UK to pitch their winning proposal for a series of training workshops where medical students can practice minimally invasive procedures using state-of-the-art VR technology. The prize fund means the training can be provided at a fraction of the normal cost.

Pasquale Berlingieri said: “I am delighted we have secured funding to deliver more VR training for our students. This achievement would not be possible without our close relationship with UCL and I would like to thank Zahra and the surgical society for their support.”

“The best thing about VR technology is it allows us to simulate being in theatre, practice procedures, learn all the steps and understand exactly what is going on in a safe and controlled environment. The benefit for patients in the long term is that our surgeons of the future will have better training, better opportunities and will therefore provide even better care.”

The training will take place at the RFL Medical Simulation Centre in September for our undergraduate medical students and the hope is the sessions will ignite their interest in pursuing a surgical career.

The RFL Medical Simulation Centre was opened in 2013 and provides state-of-the-art simulators for medical students to train on a range of endoscopy, endovascular, gastrointestinal and laparoscopic (keyhole) procedures. For more information, visit the medical simulation centre website.