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Medical student wins registrar research prize at cardiothoracic surgery conference

Navneet Singh with Adam El Gamel and Davic McCormack

Photo: Photo: (l-r) Adam El Gamel, clinical director Waikato Cardiothoracic Surgery, Navneet Singh, medical student, and David McCormack, cardiothoracic surgeon.

For the first time in the 20-year history of the NZ National Cardiothoracic Surgery Meeting, a medical student took out the Obex Prize for Best Registrar Paper.

Navneet Singh, a fifth year medical student attached to Waikato Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Unit, was up against open competition from registrars throughout Australasia.

The annual prize is judged by an international expert panel at the conference, held this year in Rotorua on 16-18 March.

Six of the 13 presentations were Waikato-based, reflecting the developing presence of Waikato Hospital in the area of cardiothoracic research.

Singh’s winning presentation was titled “Assessing the validity of EuroSCORE II – the Waikato experience.”

Navneet Singh

Navneet Singh, winner of 2018 Obex Prize for Best Registrar Paper.

His research focuses on developing a bespoke risk stratification tool for New Zealand patients undergoing heart surgery. There are standard tools developed in other countries but his research so far is indicating that these are not applicable to all equivalent heart patient categories in New Zealand.

“My role at the conference was to encourage cardiac surgery health professionals and hospitals in New Zealand to work together to develop a New Zealand-specific cardiac surgery risk assessment system so we can estimate the operative risk of our patients in a more accurate manner, and therefore do the best by our patients,” Singh says.

Navneet Singh is supervised by Damian Gimpel (registrar), David McCormack and Adam El Gamel (cardiothoracic surgeons) at Waikato Hospital.


Note: A registrar is a doctor who has completed their medical degree but is still doing required years of vocational training while employed as a doctor.  A medical student is an undergraduate undertaking a medical degree.

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