VIC Chair's Report
The last few months have been a harsh reminder of just how difficult it can be to be a surgeon. As a community we have had a passing of a surgeon as result of a violent single punch attack as well as the loss of many others, old and young. All of these losses are a tragedy.
Patrick Pritzwald-Stegmann passed away some time after being king hit at Box Hill hospital. This incident in particular is a reminder of the impact violence can have on people. While often glorified in modern media, the reality is far from what we seen on TV on in the movies. We need to continue to advocate for more stringent legislation regarding these events. The public needs to be reminded of how easy it is for a single punch to drastically alter lives and the College is committed to advocating to government to prevent these events happening in the future.
This and other recent losses also remind of us of the stress that we are often all under. This is especially felt by the younger surgeons and trainees as a life in surgery can be stressful. This can be forgotten or under-appreciated as we become more senior and I remind all surgeons, young or old, to take a moment and ask their colleagues if they are well they are well or coping or even are they OK ( RU OK). Never forget that what may seem simple or easy to you may not be the same for others. The College also has confidential support services available for all our surgeons who may need someone to talk to. Whether it is work, life or anything else that is your mind this service provides a free, confidential supportive outlet to have a chat.
On a lighter note the VRC had its recent strategic planning meeting for 2017 with a focus on the theme of engagement. Gareth Goodier was kind enough to offer his insight into how to improve engagement and leadership from members of the organisation which you may work in. Ultimately the more we can engage in RACS education and services the more diverse it will become. It will lead to our College becoming stronger, wiser and more relevant to us all. As such I would encourage all of you see what you can do for your college. It does not have to be much but a small engagement can go a long way.