Aberdeen School Opens its Doors to Medics of the Future

Operating Theatre Live – the UK’s only touring surgical experience – will once again be hosted by St Margaret’s School for Girls when it comes to Aberdeen later this year.

The next generation of budding doctors, pharmacists, radiographers, occupational therapists and other healthcare professions from schools throughout Aberdeen city and shire are being invited to take part in the one-day live human interactive dissection show on Saturday, September 14, its only Scottish date.

Operating Theatre Live (OTL), which was featured on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den last summer, first came to St Margaret’s in August 2018, when 110 boys and girls from schools throughout the region took part in the event.

Led by human anatomist Samuel Piri and his team of clinicians, the immersive operating theatre experience is matched to UK exam specifications, and provides those taking part with an ‘academically rigorous educational experience’, during which they take on the role of a trauma doctor bringing the systems of the human body alive through dissections of real specimens.

The aim of the experience is to challenge students aged 12 to 19 years, to explore careers in medicine and healthcare, to raise engagement in STEM subjects and take students on an experience into healthcare and human anatomy. There will be two separate events, one for future medics and one for surgeons. 

An additional day has been added to this year’s programme – a NUPE (UKCAT/BMAT) training day aimed at those who wish to apply for medicine and dentistry which will be held on Sunday, September 15. This will provide those taking part with an opportunity to receive tuition and practise techniques for the UKCAT, an admissions test used by many medical schools to assess students’ suitability to study medicine.

St Margaret’s Head Teacher Anna Tomlinson said that the school was delighted to be invited to host this year’s Operating Theatre Live following the overwhelming success of last year’s event. 

“We jumped at the chance of hosting last year’s event, especially as it was the first time it had been held in Scotland,” she said.

“Samuel and his team are extremely professional and dedicated physicians, and we were very impressed with the organisation and way in which they conducted the day. The feedback from parents and pupils was excellent and we are once again expecting exceptional demand for places. We would advise anyone who wants to take part to book their place as soon as possible.”

Students will work systematically through a complete dissection of the human body, and will be taught a variety of important clinical skills, including interpreting X-rays and linking symptoms to clinical diagnosis.

With a post-mortem style experience, students will look at disease and pathology, working on real specimens using real surgeons’ tools, discovering the intricate structures and how they function to keep us alive. They will have an opportunity to ask questions, handle the anatomical samples and undertake some dissection for themselves.

Programme Director Samuel Piri, an anatomist and teacher, wrote the academic content and produced all of the activities himself.

“I and my team guarantee you a breath-taking, unforgettable trip through the human body like never before. Each student will leave stretched and challenged having made measurable progress against the science specification, from GCSE, A Levels and BTECs to Scottish National 5 and Highers.” 

For full details of the workshops and to buy tickets go to the Operating Theatre Live website:

 There are two ticket types available on Saturday, September 14 and one on Sunday, September 15:

  • The first ‘Future Medics’ is the main session 9.00am-3.00pm, and covers all of the clinics described on the website except the Emergency Medicine. The cost of £69.00 includes scrub hire, stethoscope hire, full PPE and lunch.
  • The ‘Future surgeons’ ticket is £139.00 and includes all of the above, with the addition of an evening workshop on Emergency Medicine which emulates a trauma patient with a fracture. Suturing and amputation are the key skills taught. This ticket runs from 9.00am-6.00pm.
  • The NUPE training day will provide 6 hours of in-depth training into the format of the UKCAT exam, its assessment, scoring and tried and tested strategies to tackle worked examples. Full details are available on the website



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