About Us

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The Surgical Interest Association Inc. (SURGIA) is a not-for-profit incorporated organisation with a mission to bring together surgically-inclined medical students, junior doctors, and senior consultants from South East Queensland and beyond, empowering and inspiring the next generation of surgeons. We are committed to sparking student interest in surgery, teaching surgical skills and inspiring our prospective surgeons. We aim to achieve this via opportunities and events centralising around surgical skills, social/networking, academic/research and anatomical aspects of surgery. Founded in 2012, our organisation continues to promote and encourage the specialties of Surgery, surgical and medical research as well as raise funds and awareness for health charities in our local community. Through its operations at Griffith University on the Gold Coast, now expanded to the Sunshine Coast campus, SURGIA has provided resources, networking opportunities and valuable events to over 1500 students and 200 professional members and alumni over the years. Whilst SURGIA initially targeted the Griffith Medicine cohorts, the organisation proudly attracts and successfully accommodates thousands of tertiary students across other health-based degrees such as Dentistry, Biomedical Science, Medical Science and Nursing.

SURGIA strongly believes in innovative professional development, and is constantly evolving to remain interesting and relevant to our rapidly growing member base. We are ceaselessly dedicated to the fulfillment of SURGIA’s vision: to create and inspire the surgical leaders of tomorrow and enhance surgical care and equal access in communities. Similarly, SURGIA gives medical professionals and Griffith University alumni the opportunity to achieve both personal and professional goals by providing an avenue to positively contribute to medical education and workforce development. In 2020, SURGIA will continue to provide activities in hospitals and campuses in Gold Coast through to Sunshine Coast, and further extend support to interested students on rural placements. This year we are focussing on enhancing diversity in surgery, global surgery awareness, improved engagement, surgical skills training, and finally anatomical education.


History

SURGIA was founded by a working party in 2012, who won the Griffith Innovation Challenge for their professional business plan and invigorating pitch. After an extremely successful start to their operation, SURGIA are again excited to expand and develop each year to provide a range of opportunities and services to its members, corporate partners and professional supporters.

SURGIA remains as a fast growing medical/surgical society in Australia, and our stellar reputation has spread to medical schools throughout the country. Our events have featured both nationally and internationally renowned speakers and surgeons and our seminars have hosted up to 400 students from multiple universities. Additionally, our research activities have been presented at conferences and published in journals, and within our first three years, we have been the winner of five awards from the Griffith University Guild for our activities as an outstanding cultural society. The organisation would like to thank all of those who have been so instrumental in its success, and those who continue to offer support to this academic, not-for-profit organisation.


Opportunities

SURGIA offers its students and professional members unique opportunities, whilst also giving back to the wider community. SURGIA provides members with opportunities to:

  • Further their anatomy knowledge with a surgical focus
  • Develop both surgical skills and extra-surgical skills, such as leadership and professionalism
  • Link students with specialists in surgery, anaesthetics, obstetrics & gynaecology, oral maxillofacial surgery, orthopaedics, and neurosurgery
  • Access pathways for advocacy and promote an equitable surgical workforce
  • Participate in and appreciate a culture of research
  • Raise awareness of rural and global issues in surgical practice
  • Support surgical and health-related charities in our community
  • Assist in finding a surgically-related mentor in a field of your interest
  • Meet other students and professionals with similar interests and aspirations

Achievements

Some of our achievements to date:

  • 2012
    • Winners of the 2012 Griffith Innovation Challenge for our overall business plan and pitch – Prizes to the value of $39,000, of which $15,000 was seeding capital
    • Winners of the 2012 Griffith Innovation Challenge People’s Choice Award for our final pitch – $2,500 additional capital
  • 2013
    • Griffith University Guild Awards – New Cultural Club of the Year
    • Griffith University Guild Awards – Most Outstanding Achievement by a Cultural Club for our STAIRS Conference (Surgical Training in Acute Illness/Injury Recognition for Students).
  • 2014
    • Griffith University Guild Awards – Most Outstanding Achievement by a Cultural Club
    • Griffith University Guild Awards – Cultural Club Administrator of the Year
  • 2015
    • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) – Overall First Place in the RACS Surgical Skills Competition
    • Griffith University Guild Awards – Most Outstanding Club Website
  • 2016
    • Griffith University Guild Awards – Most Outstanding Club Website
    • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) – Overall First Place in the RACS Surgical Skills State Finals Competition
    • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) – Individual First Place in the RACS Surgical Skills State Finals Competition
  • 2017
    • Runner-up in Australasian Surgical Students’ Conference Research Abstract Competition
    • 3rd Place in the Australasian Surgical Students’ Conference Golden Scalpel Games
  • 2018
    • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) – Individual First Place in the RACS Surgical Skills State Finals Competition
  • 2019
    • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) – Overall First Place in the RACS Surgical Skills State Finals Competition
    • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) – Individual First Place inthe RACS Surgical Skills State Finals Competition
    • Ran events at the Sunshine Coast Hospital campus for the first time
    • Established the QSIC (QLD Surgical Interest Conference and ran it successfully, inviting students from all medical schools in QLD

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