Professor Oscar Traynor awarded Honorary Fellowship of American College of Surgeons

Spanning more than 20 years, Professor Traynor’s career in RCSI and Irish surgical training has been long and distinguished, He is widely regarded as an international expert in liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery as well as surgical training.


During his tenure as Dean of Post Graduate Surgical Training and Education, Professor Traynor oversaw many changes in the delivery of surgical training in Ireland, including structured operative skills training, surgical boot camp for new core trainees, the establishment of a centralised application and selection process using innovative aptitude and objective measurement techniques, the implementation of the intercollegiate surgical curriculum across all specialties and the creation of online e-learning programmes for surgical trainees.


As a result of these changes, Ireland is now world-renowned in training surgeons of the highest quality.


Professor Traynor established a mandatory Human Factors curriculum to improve the communication and interpersonal skills of the surgical trainees and developed a robust process for competence assessment and performance appraisal. This area has now developed into an academic Masters programme and is world-renowned as a leading programme in human factors and patient safety in healthcare.


He has continued to innovate and develop surgical education and most recently led the delivery of a fully simulated immersive programme in surgical science and practice which will give aspiring surgeons an important foundation Masters qualification to help them in their surgical training career.


Professor Traynor founded the Irish Liver Transplant Programme with the Department of Health in 1990 and served as Director of the programme for more than 25 years until he retired from clinical practice. Under his leadership this centre performed more than 1,000 liver transplant procedures expanding from 14 transplants per year in 1993 to more than 65 transplants per year with outcomes that match the best results obtained in the United Kingdom and Europe.


He guided the Centre to become the nationally designated Centre for Pancreatic Cancer Surgery and the principle Centre for major hepatobiliary resectional surgery.


Professor Traynor was nominated for Honorary Fellowship by Professor Hilary Sanfey, Professor of Surgery and Vice Chair for Education at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.


Making the nomination, Professor Sanfey said: “In all of his roles, through his leadership, diligence and vision Professor Traynor has made significant contribution to improving the safety and care of our patients and the quality of surgical training. He is truly living the American College of Surgeons mission to inspire quality, high standards and better outcomes and is more than deserving of an honorary fellowship in our college.”


RCSI President Professor Ronan O’Connell said: “I wish to extend my sincerest congratulations to Professor Traynor on the occasion of his Honorary Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons. Professor Traynor is a leader in surgery, in research and in surgical education. He has transformed the practice of surgery and the quality of surgical training in Ireland and abroad. His innovations in liver, pancreas and complex biliary surgery have had a measurable impact and improvement on patient care.”


Mr Kieran Ryan, Managing Director for Surgical Affairs at RCSI said: “Professor Traynor’s vision, creativity and leadership has given us a truly world class surgical training and education programme. His dedication to the highest standards of training and education is evident in all he has produced. All of us at RCSI are so proud of that has been awarded the highest recognition by the American College of Surgeons and we could not think of anyone more deserving.”


Professor Traynor graduated from University College Dublin School of Medicine with honours in 1974 and completed his basic and senior surgical training with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He received numerous honours as a student and trainee including the O’ Farrell Gold Medal for Surgery, the McArdle Prize for Clinical Surgery and a Fogarty Foundation Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health of the United States. He was awarded the President’s Prize of the Surgical Section of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland for his research in 1984 and was the first recipient of the RCSI Surgical Travelling Fellowship in 1985. His research into pre-neoplastic and field changes in the colon during carcinogenesis led to the granting of an M.Ch degree by thesis in 1986.


Professor Traynor was appointed as Consultant Surgeon at St Vincent’s University Hospital in 1987. He has published his clinical data in more than 100 peer-reviewed journals and has supervised his trainees in the successful completion, presentation, and publication of their research projects.

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