Mr David Izadi BA(Hons) MB BChir(Cambridge) MA(Cantab) MA(Oxon) MRCS FRCS(Plast) (September 2018 - present)  

I am honoured to serve as Patron of your Surgical Society. I have always been passionate about teaching, and love nothing more than inspiring and guiding driven and ambitious young people to help reach their potential.

I was encouraged by my parents to become a doctor. I was bright, hard working, good at sciences and sociable. I loved to paint, draw and do pottery and it was my mum, at the age of 13 years old, who told me my personality and creative instinct would serve me well as a plastic surgeon. With enthusiasm I entered Cambridge University Medical School. I did not enjoy the first three years of the course at Cambridge, as we didn’t see patients and the curriculum was traditional basic science modules. I was hungry to find out more about medical subspecialties, especially plastic surgery and with this in mind I became the President of the Cambridge University Medical Society in 2001. I organised talks from a range of specialties, but the one that had the biggest impact on my career was the talk I organised by Professor Gus McGrouther, an esteemed British Plastic Surgeon. At this talk I met another medical student, Iain Whitaker, who is now Professor of Plastic Surgery at Swansea University. Iain and I co-wrote a few papers and he helped build my CV. Professor McGrouther introduced me to Professor Peter Butler, who offered me a summer research project tissue engineering human articular chondrocytes, and also helped me to organise my medical elective at the Department of Plastic Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA. I was hooked and more determined than ever to pursue a career in plastic surgery.

I graduated from Cambridge University in 2005 and my surgical training has taken me across the south of England. My higher surgical training in plastic surgery was completed in the South West Peninsula Deanery and I am currently in my final 6 months as a ST8 registrar at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. During my training I took time out to undertake a DPhil on the molecular biology of Dupuytren’s disease at the University of Oxford, which I am currently writing up. Next I will undertake advanced training fellowship in peripheral nerve and hand surgery at The Institut de la Main in Paris and a national TIG hand surgery fellowship at the Pulvertaft Hand Centre in Derby. My goal is to become a Plastic Surgery Hand and Peripheral Nerve Consultant with an academic and teaching interest.

The photo is with Professor G. Ian Taylor, the father of microsurgery


Professor Vikram Devaraj (Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeon-RD&E) (2014- present) vsd image 2

Mr Devaraj started as a medical student at the University of Leeds. His surgical training was completed across the UK as well as in Boston, New York and Taipei. He has worked as a consultant in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the RD&E since 1995. He has devoted 32 years of his career to the NHS.

Mr Devaraj is also dedicated to several charities, including Interface Uganda, Make Me Smile and the Castellan African Trust. His hobbies include cycling, running, walking on Dartmoor, Wing Chun Kung Fu and trying to train his gun-dog.

As a senior lecturer in clinical anatomy at the university of Exeter medical school, Mr Devaraj has exciting ideas and plans on how Exeter Surgical Society can provide excellent learning opportunities for students this year. The EXESS committee will be working closely with him to ensure students receive excellent teaching, opportunities to further their career and inspiring surgical content.

To learn more about Mr. Devaraj, please visit his website: <>

Mr Andrew Cowan (Consultant, Vascular - RD&E) (2013-2014)

My grandmother always said it was my experiences gutting freshly shot rabbits and wood pigeons ( subsequently sold in my father’s corner shop) which encouraged me into a career in surgery. I cannot be sure but not only was I always convinced I was going to be a doctor, but surgery was always for me. It was with this naivety that I started my training in London in 1982 emerging as a keen house officer into the East End in 1987. My basic surgical training started in a cardiothoracic post at Bart’s before heading to Plymouth as an SHO to cover many specialities now denied to the “run through” trainee. Plastics, ENT, orthopaedics, vascular, ITU and general surgical posts have all provided me with gems of knowledge that I still rely on.

Higher surgical training took place in Wessex culminating in the senior fellows post at St Mary’s Paddington which was in essence a pseudo-consultant finishing school. I was appointed here in Exeter on 1st October 2001.

Undergraduate surgical experience for many is at best bewildering and at worst terrifying. Surgeons can be intimidating and can seem to pitch teaching way above the heads of those desperate to learn. I have always despised this approach and see learning and surgery in particular something to enjoy. This can only come from inspirational teachers and mentors who understand the needs of students to be able to understand at a basic level and to be able to build upon this. We can all remember such people in our own careers. This doesn’t mean of course that good teachers cannot be challenging and a little scary at times…

I am thrilled to be invited to be a patron of the society. To see so many students hungry for more knowledge is refreshing particularly in an era when clock watching and e learning have become the norm. There is no shortcut to surgical experience, It is and will remain in my eyes an apprenticeship and going the extra mile to seek out that experience and indeed deliver it is vital.


Mr Jamie Dunn (SpR Urology - RD&E) (2012-2013)

I graduated initially as Vet. A career path chosen after working for
Mr Jamie Dunnthe Kenya with the wild life service. Fairly quickly the desire to do medicine took hold so in 2003 I returned to do a fast track medical degree in Bristol. The degree was funded by working part time as a Veterinary Surgeon and partly by becoming a paid ocean tramp in the holidays developing an enduring passion for off shore sailing in small boats. I remain an active and committed member of the ocean cruising club today.

I am delighted to have a role within the Exeter Surgical Society because, to be frank, I find you so impressive. I love the fact that you are motivated and just get on with organising things for yourselves and I love teaching you because you're hungry for it...I found in the latter years of my medical degree that I heard whispers of discontent from within the profession but I promise you, approach your careers as you have approached your training and you will have a job that makes you feel that you stand about six inches taller and that you can say, hand on heart, that you love...