Dear Fellows, Trainees and Associates,

It is often said that surgery is as much of an art as it is a science. The links between the art of what we do, and the science that tries to understand it, have been recognised since the time of Da Vinci. Why did you make that diagnosis? How did you know what to do? Whilst we obviously need to understand the paradigms that underpin evidence-based care, sometimes we just can’t explain it. We just somehow know. Experience, wisdom handed down from our mentors, and sometimes just gut feeling help us to make good decisions and support our evidence-based training.

Our College’s Annual Scientific Congress is one of the only opportunities for all the specialities that make up our Fellowship to come together and reflect on issues that affect us all.

Whilst the ASC is primarily focused on the science of surgery, we want to take the opportunity, at this ASC, to celebrate the art of what we do. The Art of Surgery drives us to better understand our patients’ needs and look for better ways to treat them. The Art of Surgery drives innovation, creativity, empathy and promotes better interprofessional relationships. All of this translates to better patient care.

The theme also allows us to recognise the significant non-surgically based artistic achievements of many of our Fellows who are renowned artists, playwrights, musicians and actors.

Melbourne is the perfect city to host a Congress focused on this innovative theme, with the vibrant artistic culture seen in our theatres, music venues, laneways, galleries and restaurants. Not only are we planning a rich scientific program, with many distinguished local and international speakers, we will focus on conjoint sessions that highlight the many areas in which our subspecialties collaborate. We look forward to a fabulous social program that will highlight the artistic culture of our College, and our city.

We hope you will join us to celebrate being surgeons, and the art of what we do.


Wendy Brown FRACS
ASC 2020 Convener
Sebastian King FRACS
ASC 2020 Scientific Convener