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VIC Chair's Report


We do live in exciting times. The RACS is undergoing a lot of changes as we focus on becoming more diverse and inclusive. Our work on bullying and harassment and diversity continues to be a strong focus and is a key topic of discussion at every meeting I attend.

I was sitting in our Regional meeting the other day and noted that the executive portion of the committee is now 75% female.  The proportion of the overall committee that is female is 40 %.  This is something to promote and be proud of.

However, as always, there is more to do. State committee elections are coming up and I encourage everyone, particularly those who have felt under-represented in the past, to put their hand up and nominate.

The chance to serve is a privilege and offers people a chance to give back to the community that has helped train you and make you the surgeon that you are today. It also allows you to expand your own skillset and improve your leadership skills. It will give you an insight to problems that you may not have known even existed.  Above all it will give you a chance to work with people outside your specialty and within the RACS which can be very rewarding .
Everywhere you look now there are reports stating that adding new ideas and “blood” to organizations only improves them. The only way to ensure that RACS continues to improve is for new people to step forward and join in on College activities.

This principle also extends to educational events and forums that you might attend throughout the year. To remain relevant we need to ensure that these meetings include a more diverse range of presenters.

If you are preparing or convening a meeting please encourage and approach your female, IMG and trainee colleagues and encourage them to come to the meeting and present. Have them as invited speakers if possible. 

If you are a female, trainee or IMG  don’t be afraid to offer to present or put papers in for these meetings. Our College is asking for your help in these matters.

Finally, I wish you all a Happy Easter and hope that everyone continues to try and improve themselves, both personally and professionally. It is a year to be kind to one another and move onto a better future. Try and make this a year in which you take on a new challenge.

WorkSafe Victoria

re-appointment of Independent medical examiners

WorkSafe Victoria has recently completed a recruitment campaign to appoint and reappoint Independent Medical Examiners, which required surgeons to meet a new selection criteria. This process commenced in November and after applications closed in January a number of surgeons have been advised they do not meet the criteria and WorkSafe is proposing to reject their application.

However, it may be that some surgeons have misinterpreted the criteria and after further consultation with WorkSafe we would like to further clarify what the following criteria means;

c) the practitioner  

a. currently undertakes a minimum of 8 hours direct clinical care each week, which is aligned to their chosen discipline for providing a specialist opinion as an IME; and  

b. was engaged in active surgical practice within the last 10 years

Essentially this criteria requires the applicant is within 10 year of surgical practice (i.e the last time they operated) and that they still undertake at least 8 hours of direct clinical hours per week. This could include non-operative consulting, treating old and new patients, providing second opinions, or have a hospital appointment.

There is no doubt even with this further clarification a number of surgeons who applied will be affected by the changes. If you believe this changes your application or the proposed decision by WorkSafe please contact Sadie D’Arcy at WorkSafe at by 5pm on Wednesday 11th April 2018.

Investing for Success

Free seminar for RACS Members

Taking the time to review your investment strategy is essential if you wish to ensure the financial security of you and your family in the long term.
Simon Curtain and Glenn Fairbairn, Directors of Hewison Private Wealth, invite you to join them for an obligation free information seminar on investment strategies for medical professionals.
Hewison Private Wealth is an independent wealth management firm and proud Victorian Regional Office sponsor. As part of their sponsorship Hewison Private Wealth are offering all RACS members a free workshop on how to invest for success.

Date: 30 April 2018
Time: 6:00pm
Location: Council Room, College of Surgeons
Cost: Free

Refreshments will be provided. 
For more information or to RSVP please contact the Victorian Regional Office on 03 9249 1254 or

The Younger Fellows Forum - 2018

All Younger Fellows are invited to nominate for the 2018 Younger Fellows Forum (YFF) in NSW from Friday 4 May - Sunday 6 May 2018.  

The Younger Fellows Forum is held annually prior to the Annual Scientific Congress (ASC) of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

The Forum is a professional retreat of RACS Younger Fellows (a Younger Fellow is a surgeon who has obtained their fellowship within the last 10 years).

The forum offers a unique opportunity for a group of Fellows to share ideas and experiences and debate issues that affect their professional and personal lives.

For more information, please refer to 2018 Younger Fellows Forum

Medical Students Surgical Skills Workshops

27 May | 26 August | 30 September

Volunteers needed

Three MSSWs are held each year to promote surgery as a career for Victorian Medical Students.

Held in the RACS Skills Lab, participants (32 at each event) rotate in small groups through four workstations, to experience hands-on practical skills relevant to the surgical speciality being featured.  This year FLS, Plastic, Urology, Vascular and Orthopaedic surgery will be featured across the three workshops.

We are looking for Fellows and Trainees who could assist us in running a Skills station at these workshops.  If you can assist us, please contact: Katherine Walsh or phone 9249 1253

For further details and dates please see the RACS website

Developing a Surgical Career

Resources for Junior Doctors Interested in a Surgical Career

Registrations now open!

 Saturday 30 June | Saturday 6 October 

This is a rewarding one day professional development workshop designed to provide information and knowledge to assist Junior Doctors interested in a Surgical Career

REGISTER NOW via the online enrolment form. 

60th Victorian Annual Surgical Meeting

19 - 20 October 2018 | The Royal children's hospital, Melbourne


Save the Date

Friday 19 October - Professional Development Workshops
VASM Interactive workshop
Surgical Leaders Forum workshop

Saturday 20 October - Scientific Program
Plenary, symposia and discussions, oral paper presentations and poster presentations.

Vic ASM Dinner: G J Royal Lecture and announcement of prizes and awards
Abstracts opening soon
Registrations opening soon

Please see the RACS VicASM page for more information.

Access to Counselling Services

RACS Extends this Support Program to immediate family members of
Fellows, Trainees and IMGs

Medical Graduates and members of their immediate family or household can access the RACS Support Program (RACSSP)?

The program is provided by Converge International, a leading Employee Assistance Program provider, where members can access confidential support via counselling, coaching and advice on workplace, emotional and personal issues.

When you contact the RACSSP you always speak with a qualified mental health professional. Consultants are registered psychologists and counsellors, and have extensive experience in their specialty areas with a deep knowledge of, and experience in providing care to people who work in the healthcare sector.

Converge has also recently launched its EAP Connect app – download this today on your smartphone.  

More information is on the RACS website.


Member Benefits Program


Fellows and Trainees of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons can access exclusive discounts on a range of quality lifestyle products and financial services through the RACS Member Advantage Benefits Program.

For further information on the benefits and services available: Call Member Advantage on 1300 853 352 or visit the College website.

Save 12% on any Adrenaline experience or voucher

As a RACS member, access Adrenaline’s awesome and unique experiences. The range includes over 2,500 of the best adventures in Australia, New Zealand and now also across the USA.

Choose between Water, Driving, Flying, or Land experiences or opt for the gift vouchers if you are unsure of a gift for a loved one.


Dr David T Love
Victorian Regional Chair
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