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'The impact of complications and errors on surgeons'

All surgical procedures carry the potential for adverse events. Dealing with the sequelae of the complications and errors that arise in the course of normal practice is therefore part and parcel of a surgeon’s working life. The challenges and stresses that this creates are now well recognised, although surgical training has, until recently, done little to help surgeons prepare for such events, and on-going professional and personal support is limited. Although it is crucial to focus on the needs of patients and their families when errors occur, it is also important to recognise that surgeons may be the ‘second victims’ in such circumstances. This is not least because they must respond to the challenge of providing effective patient care and may also need to deal with the reactions of the patient’s family, with the judgements of colleagues and, in some cases, with disciplinary or legal proceedings. Until now it has been unclear how, and to what extent, surgeons need support. We have recently launched a national research study to explore these issues. Our research aims to examine the nature of the impact that adverse events have on the professional and personal lives of surgeons, whether there may be differences in that impact for complications versus errors and the nature of the support that surgeons might require as a result. For further information see or follow us on Twitter @Surgeons_UK.


Catherine Johnson BA MSc PGCE

Kate JohnsonCatherine Johnson is a second year PhD researcher at Bournemouth University. Her background is in education, having gained her PGCE in 2010 and teaching for four years in head of department and behaviour specialist roles. Catherine then completed an MSc in Psychology focusing on the efficacy of digit span testing as a measure of actual short-term memory capacity in children utilising quantitative research methods, statistical analysis and application to cognitive theory within her research. Catherine was drawn to her current area of research as it appeals to her psychological interests in both clinical and cognitive psychology and appeases her desire to make a positive impact on the quality of life of others. 

Kevin Turner MA DM FRCS (Urol)

Kevin TurnerMr Kevin Turner has been a Consultant Urological Surgeon in Bournemouth for nine years. He undertook pre-clinical training in Cambridge and clinical training in Oxford. His MD in Oxford explored the control of Angiogenesis in Renal Cancer and for this work he was awarded the European Association of Urology Thesis Award and was elected to the office of Hunterian Professor of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He then undertook higher surgical training in Urology in Edinburgh and Melbourne. His principal clinical interests are in urological cancer and particularly resectional surgery for pelvic / renal malignancy including laparoscopic and robotic surgery. He is a co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Urological Surgery and is an examiner for the FRCS Urology examination.


The lecture will be chaired by Professor David Cranston, Associate Professor of Surgery at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences. 

All members of the University and NHS clinical staff are welcome.