A celebration of surgery and art – obtaining my FRCS




On Friday 6th October 2023, at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, I received by Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Trauma and Orthopaedic diploma alongside other diplomates meaning that I can now use the letters FRCS after my name!

Receiving my FRCS was the final objective after eight long years of higher specialty training in Trauma and Orthopaedics. It is an essential qualification that is required before all orthopaedic trainees can officially apply for the “Certificate for completion of training” (abbreviated to CCT) which then allows for Consultant job applications to follow.

It was a huge honour to be able to celebrate this achievement at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, with my parents and partner, just round the corner from where I used to go to medical school.

Mr. Alastair Faulkner, FRCS with his painting “Trauma” (2020)

In addition to celebrating this achievement, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has also been the home of my painting “Trauma” for the last two years. The College graciously extended the loan period so that I might have the opportunity to stand in my full diplomate robes in front of a painting that not only means a lot to me but also for the specialty I have chosen to base my surgical career.

“This ceremony celebrated two huge aspects of my life: art and surgery,”

It was a privilege to be able to celebrate this special day with my parents and partner who have been an immeasurable support throughout all facets of my career and I felt this celebration was as much theirs as it was mine.

My painting will soon return home after several years away and I cannot thank the College enough for their support and guardianship throughout this period.

Here’s to the next chapter in my career and all the exciting possibilities that opens up for the future!


*A note for those not familiar with medical titles. Qualified surgeons in the UK, Ireland and some other countries go by the title Mr./Miss./Mrs./Ms./Mx. to distinguish themselves from physicians who use the title Dr. This is largely historical and based on the fact that surgeons were a completely separate professional class to physician-doctors hundreds of years ago.

In reality, surgeons in the UK have a medical degree, are regulated by the General Medical Council like all doctors, and can choose to use the Dr. title if they wish. Convention however is a tricky thing to change and thus it is up to individuals as to what title they go by. Surgeons do not get offended if you refer to them as Dr.! (If they do that says more about the surgeon than the patient!)