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Meet the 2017/18 Committee


Matthew Potter – President

I am privileged to head UCT Surgical Society this year. My goal for the year is to guide the other portfolios, ensure our monthly talks are relevant and interesting and to keep the society's actions in line with our values.

Something interesting about me:

I am passionate about the field of surgery and all that it has to offer both me and the career that it could potentially hold for me, as well the unparalleled potential that it bears in the healthcare of the individual and the country at large. Surgery provides a platform from which immediate results can be registered and can be appreciated through the immediate satisfaction or relief that patients experience; this is something that creates the greatest pull towards the profession for me.


Nick Loxton – Vice-President and IT

This year I am primarily providing a supporting role to Matt and the other portfolios. One of my projects for the year is convening the IASSS & SASSS Surgical Symposium in July 2018 with a Stellenbosch colleague and I am extremely excited about this. I am also in charge of maintaining this website.

Something interesting about me:

I am an avid track and field athlete and muchmto the dismay of my neighbours, love to jam on my saxophone on the off-chance that I have a free afternoon.


Josh Fieggen – Secretary

As secretary, my job is to essentially make sure everyone else is doing their job and to assist where I can. Other than this I take minutes at any meeting we have and follow up on action items. In addition to my duties as secretary I am really excited to run an ultrasound course in partnership with the skills and anatomy portfolios.

Something interesting about me: 

I haven’t had a functional day without coffee in more than four years.


Jared Tumiel – Treasurer

I handle everything to do with payments, budgeting and finance.

Something interesting about me:

I am obsessed with Bitcoin and Crytocurrencies and even created a Surgical Society Coin (SurgCoin).


Cathryn McDougall – Sponsorships and PR

I head up the Sponsorship and PR portfolio. The sponsorship side of the portfolio involves maintaining existing relationships with our generous sponsors, as well as negotiating and developing new partnerships. Although I am told to expect many unanswered emails and rejections, I am excited by the possibilities that the portfolio holds. Sponsorships enable the society to broaden both the scope and reach of our initiatives. The PR side of the portfolio is important in ensuring that we have a strong social media presence, and that our members are well-informed about the happenings of the society. 

Something interesting about me:

I really enjoy sailing, as well as surfing. (I also love things ending early so that I can go surf and sail). 

Phumla Dube – Outreach

As the 2018 head of outreach I aim to further propel the society in fulfilling its objective of engaging in surgery related community outreach. In doing so, the projects in this portfolio will be centred around women’s health promotion, volunteering in trauma units and organ and tissue donation. This year I would like to get the society members more involved in conducting health promotion talks and workshops in high schools and communities. Through this portfolio I would like the society to epitomize my favourite quote that says, “there’s no point to living life unless you make history and the best way to make history is to help others.” 

Something interesting about myself:

I’m completely in love with Jesus and He has helped me embody the principle of “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu” which literally means that a person is a person through other people. I’m an ex-model and ex-aspiring chef - I realised along the way that I’d be under the wrong set of lights and using the wrong set of knives hence I ended up in the medical field. I love exercising but you’d find me eating a 3-course meal afterwards.


Mu’azzam Rawoot - Workshops

Surgery is a hands-on profession and requires a wide knowledge of various techniques and procedures.  As the spectrum of surgical skills learnt in undergraduate medical training is limited, the skills portfolio aims to provide students with an opportunity to be exposed to and expand their set of surgical skills through workshops run by various surgeons.

The current workshops include basic suturing, basic laparoscopic skills, bowel anastomoses, venous patch grafts and trauma training including advanced airway and the insertion of intercostal chest drains. However, as surgical techniques are becoming more technologically advanced and is continually improving, in 2018, this portfolio will be expanded to expose students to new skills by including workshops on advanced suturing techniques, laparoscopic suturing techniques, ultrasound interpretation and many more.

Something interesting about myself:

Coffee, ice cream and running are life, without these I won’t be able to get through the daily grind of medicine.


Stewart Steenkamp - Workshops

The Surgical Society has set the bar very high for the past few years, managing to stimulate interest in the field across the faculty by making it relevant to students. It has also emphasised the role surgery can play in community engagement. This is very difficult to achieve within the seemingly narrow scope of Anatomy, but I aim to host workshops that complement traditional anatomy teaching, emphasising the importance of anatomy in surgery and medicine in general. I would like students - especially pre-clinicals – to see their anatomy applied, and to recognise how vital a solid foundation in the subject is to becoming an excellent healthcare professional.

Something interesting about myself:

I’m often told that I’m very laid-back (my quiet demeanour, soccer-mom car and love for all things outdoors would support this), but anyone who has witnessed the grumpy, jittery shell of a human being I become before exams or my second morning cup of coffee will know that that isn’t always the case. Apart from coffee, I’m passionate about travelling, cricket and anything with wheels: I am an avid mountain biker, I ride a motorbike and I know far too much about cars.


Musa Omar – Research

I am heading up the research agenda at SurgSoc and have a few ideas in the pipeline to kick-start undergraduate surgical research at the faculty.

​Something interesting about myself:

I'm a simple nerd who enjoys the little things like anime, reading and a nice gym session. I'm extremely straightforward, so you will know where you stand with me, and I adore sarcasm. The only problem I have is that I'm sarcastic so often that people can't tell when I'm being sincere and when I'm being sarcastic, which can lead to some awkward moments. Nevertheless, if you are able to catch my sarcasm, you and I will get on just fine.


Gareth Obery - Events

The events portfolio coordinates the logistics behind the monthly talks which form a critical part of the society. It also offers an opportunity to coordinate some fun activities. These are a chance to get involved in events outside of medical school and a great way to meet some of the older or younger years. The annual pub quiz, which has been a huge success in the past, is one of the exciting events to look forward to. The much anticipated registrar debate will be held again this year. We are looking to hold a 5-a-side soccer tournament as well which will be a new addition to the events calendar. I am also hoping to hold a fund raising event, so stay posted!

Something interesting about myself:

I love meeting and chatting to new people! If I’m not at Med School you can usually find me out and about in Cape Town. Sport plays a big role in my life, hockey and soccer being my favourites. I’m hoping to use this portfolio to bring a bit of fun to campus life and bridge the gap between the different years.


Carmen Gaffley - Student Development

This portfolio not only aims to foster student interest in surgery but provide a platform for students to be exposed to early operative experiences with Friday trauma evenings and our surgical shadow programme. We aim to break down the barriers that students face, facilitating student-surgeon relationships through a multifaceted registrar-directed mentorship programme.

Something interesting about myself:

If I’m not busy with my medical studies, you’ll find me either on a mountain hiking, taking a walk on the beach with my dog or reading a book in a coffee shop. I love the theatre and the arts and enjoy playing piano as a form of escapism. I’m brilliant at baking and enjoy trying my hand at cooking.