Trainee Collaborative, VERITAS  which is the most active General Surgery collaborative in Australia, and run by the University of Melbourne PhD students, have their multicentre study published.


VERITAS (Victorian collaborative for Education, Research, Innovation, Training and Audit by Surgical trainees) was established at University of Melbourne, Department of Surgery – Austin Precinct, in 2018 by Dr Sean Stevens and Associate Professor Muralidharan.

VERITAS was conceived in the knowledge that high-quality research informs practise. Trainee-led research collaboratives were developed in response to surgical trainees based at single centres, being unable to perform high powered clinical studies required to answer important clinical questions. The trainee collaborative research model facilitates the recruitment of large groups of patients by drawing together trainees based at multiple sites, nationally and internationally. Notable recent successes of surgical collaboratives are the COVIDSurg studies coordinated by surgeons and trainees from the GlobalSurg Collaborative based in the UK. Their recent findings, published in The Lancet, reported that >50% of patients undergoing surgery with concurrent SARS-CoV-2 infection developed pulmonary complications (1).

PROTECTinG (Perioperative Timing of Elective Chemical thromboprophylaxis in General surgery), co-ordinated by Dr David Liu (pictured) is a multi-centre, observational cohort study examining the timing of chemical thromboprophylaxis in patients undergoing general surgery and the impact on outcomes such as venous thromboembolism (VTE) and bleeding. This successful collaborative study collected peri-operative data for >7000 patients. The first publication from this study focused on 1744 patients who underwent elective cholecystectomies and reported that early (pre- or intra-operative) administration of chemoprophylaxis was associated with an increased risk of bleeding without conferring any additional protection from VTE.

Other studies currently being co-ordinated by VERITAS and its members include the SOS study which aims to characterise the trainee experience of surgical outpatient clinics and the SUNRRiSE trial which is an international, multi-centre randomised control trial comparing the effectiveness of a single-use negative pressure dressing versus standard post-operative dressings in reducing wound infection rates following emergency laparotomy. VERITAS has also recently launched COVIDCare, a nationwide survey of all surgical trainees to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their training, wellbeing and home life.

For more information on VERITAS, its current projects and opportunities for collaboration please contact Dr Georgina Riddiough and Dr Daniel Cox (VERITAS Co-chairs) or A/Prof Muralidahran (Consultant Supervisor) at or

Lui, David

Dr David Lui, primary investigator 

  1. COVIDSurg Collaborative. Mortality and pulmonary complications in patients undergoing surgery with   perioperative SARS-CoV-2 infection: an international cohort study. Lancet. 2020 Jul 4;396(10243):27–38.
  2. Liu DS, Stevens S, Wong E, Fong J, Mori K, Ward S, et al. Pre-operative and intra-operative chemical thromboprophylaxis increases bleeding risk following elective cholecystectomy: a multicentre (PROTECTinG) study. ANZ J Surg. 2020 Jun 9;11:CD001484.