Notre Dame wins Golden Scalpel competition

Notre Dame’s winning team – (L-R) Daniella Beniamin, John Lahoud,
Khalil Bazzi, Manuela Vancea and Antonia Radas. Absent: Emmanuel Ndayisaba

5 October 2017

Medical students from The University of Notre Dame Australia have shown they are clearly ‘a cut above the rest’, winning a state-wide surgical skills competition for the second year running.

Aspiring surgeons from Notre Dame’s School of Medicine, Sydney took first prize at the Golden Scalpel Games, an annual event organised by the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) and designed to put the skills of future medics to the ultimate test.

The games, held on 23 September at the Sydney Masonic Center, saw six NSW medical schools compete in a gruelling series of surgical tasks performed on mannequins and synthetic tissue in 35-minute sessions.

The tasks were performed under the watchful eyes of members from the HETI Clinical Surgical Training Council Trainee Subcommittee, whose job it was to judge participants on skill, teamwork and professionalism.

Notre Dame medical students took top honours through a demonstration of exceptional skills in surgical procedures such as tendon repair, wound management, suturing, laparoscopy tests and severe trauma.

Khalil Bazzi, a third year Doctor of Medicine student, said it was an honour to come in first place. "We faced stiff competition on the day from the other universities but thankfully our preparation and team-work paid off in the end,” said team member and third-year Doctor of Medicine student Khalil Bazzi.

“Having to compete in such a high-pressure environment was quite challenging but proved to be a fantastic learning experience,” he said adding, “Training for and competing in the games truly demonstrated to me the importance of communication and collaboration in medicine and this is something I hope to carry into clinical practice.”

Antonia Radas, also a third-year Doctor of Medicine student, said the competition was fun and challenging. “We all supported each other, which allowed us to showcase our strengths under pressure.

“From suturing pork belly, to applying plaster to a fractured limb and debriding a contaminated wound, the morning was one to remember.”

Christine Bennett, Dean of The School of Medicine, Sydney, said she was extremely proud that the Notre Dame team won first place in the games for the second consecutive year.

“The Golden Scalpel Games is a wonderful opportunity for the next generation of doctors to showcase their teamwork and surgical skills,” said Professor Bennett.

“Winning this competition for the second year in a row validates Notre Dame’s approach in preparing students for real-world medical practice, enabling them to become excellent clinicians with outstanding procedural skills.”

Media Contact – Antonia Maiolo +61 2 8304 4141 | 0431 856 077 |