Dr Sally Langley FRACS
I am pleased to welcome you to the 91st Annual Scientific Congress of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons to be held in the beautiful city of Adelaide, South Australia from Monday 1 – Friday 5 May 2023.
The theme for 2023 is “Equity in Surgery”; it aligns with our 2022 – 2024 Strategic Plan with its overarching message of building a culture of respect and the priority, ‘Serving all Communities Equitably’.
Historically, RACS’ surgeons have not been a diverse group and have mostly worked in our own locations. We have not fully represented the gender nor the diverse Indigenous and ethnic composition of our community. We also have not served communities who live outside our metropolitan areas well. Upon reflection, we have been working on improving gender equity in all our surgical specialties and further to that, we openly acknowledge our LBGTQIA+ representation in our surgical workforce and society. RACS prioritises equitable services to all communities regardless of their demographics. At the ASC 2023, you will learn more about the challenges and barriers preventing equity and your role as a leader in the health profession to contribute to improvement of a workforce that is diverse and serves all our people.
With respect to the pandemic, our lives are moving on and returning to normal. We are travelling again, and we expect to see many attendees, including international visitors, scholarship recipients, aspiring surgeons, other health practitioners, along with our own RACS Trainees, Specialist International Medical Graduates and Fellows to gather and network. This is your opportunity to present your research and innovation, partake in discussion and experience active peer review. Attending the congress in person is a friendly collegial activity; the spontaneous conversation that occurs while walking down the corridor or grabbing a coffee is more mutually beneficial than the multiple virtual encounters we adapted for the past couple of years. All presentations at the Congress will be recorded and made available for viewing on demand as per previous ASCs.
It is also important to note that the ASC is not just about your own specialty. Our practices overlap with colleagues from other surgical specialties and we always work together to care for our patients. All of us also share common interests such as surgical education, leadership, Indigenous health, women in surgery and many more. You can extend your interest and attend to all ten of RACS competencies. I challenge you to step aside from the technical aspect of your own surgical specialty at this ASC and broaden your multidisciplinary passion. In addition, attendance at the ASC is a very good way to fulfil many of your Continuing Professional Development requirements. I encourage you to devise a learning plan and include topics at the ASC to fit in with that.
For more information please visit asc.surgeons.org.
The ASC 2023 is in the good hands of convener, Amal Abou-Hamden, Scientific convener, David Walters, and their team. I look forward to seeing many familiar faces at the Adelaide Convention Centre in May 2023.
On behalf of the organising committee, we are excited to share what we have planned for the RACS 91st Annual Scientific Congress (ASC) to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from Monday 1 – Friday 5 May 2023.
The ASC 2023 Executive has developed three plenary sessions to stimulate discussion and inform us on how surgeons can embrace diversity in our day-to-day interactions with patients, families, carers and our team. This will complement a focus on how we can optimise the provision of equitable surgical care in our community. These plenary sessions will use the concepts of Society, Training and Workforce and Patient Access to explore what equity in surgery means.
The theme aims to explore health inequalities, how to address and eliminate them as well as generate discussions about how the traditions and beliefs of individual cultural backgrounds can impact our healthcare provision. The theme will also provide an opportunity for us to self-evaluate, as healthcare providers, to acknowledge the impact of our own biases on our judgement and decisions and their impact on patient care.
The Section Conveners have collaborated for various sessions to discuss relevant and sensitive topics to help us understand how we can work cohesively as a team to deliver high quality patient centred care and achieve optimal health outcomes. An impressive array of international speakers, including Dr Abdullah Noor Hisham (Endocrine Surgery), Dr Jim Rutka (Neurosurgery), Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete (Global Health), Dr Lay Hooi Lim (Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery), Dr Cherie Holmes (Senior Surgeons), Dr Suzanne Gisbertz (Upper GI Surgery) and many more, has been lined up to contribute to one outstanding ASC program.
It will also be a great opportunity to visit Adelaide and its surroundings again. The Riverbank Precinct includes an expanded Adelaide Convention Centre that will host the ASC, redeveloped Adelaide Oval and new world leading integrated health and bio-medical research hub, all interconnected by walkways and a river footbridge.
We look forward to welcoming you to the ASC 2023 in Adelaide from Monday 1 – Friday 5 May.