Gukas Award Presentation for highest achieving student on the Specialist Clinical Masterships Programme
On Monday 25 January, Prof Jerome Pereira, Joint Programme Director for the Specialist Masterships Programme (SCM) presented the inaugural Gukas Award, to the best outgoing student from the Specialist Clinical Masterships Programme. The recipient, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Mr Daniel Leff achieved distinction overall and received the award in the presence of Isaac’s wife Sabina and son Michael.
Jerome Pereira praised Isaac after whom the prize is named, for his founding contribution to the course development - particularly in the area of assessments using Script Concordance Tests (SCT), which are used throughout the SCM programme. Isaac had made personal contact with the originator of the test in Canada in order to help develop its use for the online course. Sadly, Isaac died more than two years ago so this annual award is to honour Isaac’s name through student excellence.
Jerome noted that Daniel, one of the first students from 2011 had shown outstanding ability right from the start and was a worthy candidate to receive the award. Daniel thanked the Gukas family for providing the award and for what Isaac had contributed. He also thanked his sponsors at Imperial for helping him through the course.
Regarding the course, Daniel suggested he was “preaching to the converted” since, as he put it, “The real challenge for us, as surgeons or surgeons in training … is to bridge that gap between the general knowledge that you need and that sub speciality knowledge that you need in Oncoplasty Breast Surgery”
He continued, “The breadth and depth of knowledge that you get through this course is well beyond that of FRCS […] the knowledge and skills [from] this course are second to none. […] More than that is the network that you generate by your interaction with each other actually and for me that’s been really personally very useful. I have 25 more firm friends that I had beforehand.”
Daniel finished to say “It isn’t straight forward, it isn’t easy and you’re doing it as post graduates but I think at times when you do find that […] persevere it’s really well worth it and there is no other part of my training that - on a day to day basis - my interaction with patients really makes a big difference. I’m very grateful to the team for that, thanks.”