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Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Dear Trainees,

As I write this there are only 4 sleeps (if you're lucky) till Christmas. The truth is that for surgical trainees, unlike most people, Christmas and New Year might not be holidays. You might be on call one or both of these days, or you might be far away from your family, with not enough days off to make a trip interstate or overseas. Or maybe, instead, your are missing Hannukah celebrations. Whatever the case, and whatever this time of year means to you personally, I hope you know what you do for other people, not just over the holidays, but all year round, is an amazing gift. You meet with people at their most vulnerable, and deal with their very worst day. Especially over Christmas you carry other people's tragedies with you as you operate in the wee hours or round on desperately sick patients. So I hope you get some time off for yourself and for the ones you love in the middle of it all, and that you genuinely do have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hannukah and a brilliant New Year.

Catch you in 2017!


Ruth Mitchell

In This Issue...

Merry Christmas
Update from RACSTA
Induction Conference
2016 John Corboy Medal
An Australian First
Who is RACSTA?

Update from RACSTA

The RACSTA Board met on 27 November for the last meeting of the year.  Congratulations goes to Philip Chia who was elected to the RACSTA Executive in the Education Portfolio. Congratulations also goes to Nicholas Low, who was in an Election by Application Position, but was recently elected as the new VIC representative. In addition, the Board welcomes the following new members:
  • Heath Lash, NZ Representative
  • Damian Fry, QLD Representative
  • Rudyard Wake, ACT Representative 
  • Marco Raftopulos, OHNS (AU)
  • Benjamin Chan, OHNS (NZ)
  • David Lees, Orthopaedic (NZ)
  • Scott Taylor, Orthopaedic (AU)
  • Danielle Nizzero, Election by Application
The Board also said farewell to a number of members this year. Grant Fraser-Kirk (Immediate Past President), Ramez Ailabouni (NZ and Orthopaedic (NZ) Rep), Sarah Byrne (QLD Rep), Luke Bradshaw (VIC Rep), Todd Mason (Orthopaedic (AU)), Fiona Hill (OHNS (AU)), Nigel Pinto (Vascular), and Sally Ng (Election by Application) all stepped down this year. Thank you to you all for your time and effort on behalf of all Surgical Trainees. Your contributions were greatly appreciated. Thank you also to William Perry who has stepped down from the Executive. He has, however been elected onto the Board through application and so will continue to contribute to RACSTA's cause.

Issues surrounding workforce planning, interruptions to training, less than full-time training, and consent processes remain high on the agenda for the Board. Rigorous discussion is had on these and many more topics and RACSTA will continue to advocate to ensure these issues are given priority in both RACS and the wider heath community. 
If you have an idea that will benefit trainees, or are interested in becoming more involved with RACSTA, email the RACSTA Executive Officer. We would love to hear from you!


2016 RACSTA Induction Conference

31 new SET Trainees gathered in Melbourne on 26 November for the seventh RACSTA Induction Conference for new Trainees. The day was fully packed with speakers covering topics such as leadership and non-technical skills, feedback, social media, research and scholarships, as well as tips that will help the new Trainee succeed in the their day-to-day work.

The day also provided a great opportunity for networking. With the College President and majority of the RACSTA Board present throughout the day, the new Trainees were able to meet their representatives and fellow Trainees. The Cocktail party after the formalities provided a great environment to share experiences and reflect on the success of getting into the SET Program in the first place!

The College tour was a highlight for many, and helped emphasise that RACS is for the Trainees, just as much as the Fellows. If you are ever in Melbourne and curious about the building, come for a visit, we would love to show you around!

A big thank you to Avant who were the Primary Sponsor for the day and made it possible. Also thank you to all the presenters who gave their time; the feedback shows your advice was more than appreciated!


2016 John Corboy Medal

RACSTA would like to congratulate Dr Grant Fraser-Kirk on his success at winning the 2016 John Corboy Medal that will be formally presented at the ASC in 2017. 

Dr Fraser-Kirk has tirelessly served to represent the interests of medical students, junior doctors and surgical trainees throughout the duration of his training in various leadership positions. He has represented the interests of his peers through his service to his hospital RMO society, medical staff associations, chairing the QLD Chapter of RACSTA and more recently as RACSTA Chair for 2014-2015. 

Along with the medal, Dr Fraser-Kirk will be recognised on the Honour Board housed at RACS and will receive complimentary registration to the ASC in 2017.

Australia's First Indigenous Orthopaedic Registrar

AIDA recently spoke to Australia's first Indigenous Orthopaedic Registrar, Dr Anthony Murray, who will commence his training in 2017. 

Based in NSW, Anthony has had positive experiences as an Indigenous doctor, having been accepted by his local community and through his workplace. his family also supports his career in surgery. 

Click here to read the full article. 

Who is RACSTA?

RACSTA is the Trainees' representative body to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), giving a voice to all Trainees. RACSTA aims to improve the training experience, protect the interests of Trainees, and provide an avenue between the trainees and RACS.

As a Trainee of RACS, you are automatically a member of RACSTA. We can represent you or discuss specific issues at training or regional meetings as well as provide support for complaints.

RACSTA has an Executive Committee that is made up of the Chair, Immediate Past Chair and a number of portfolios. These portfolios are:
  • Education: Ensures excellence in surgical education, focusing on the curriculum and facilitating the RACSTA End-Of-Term Survey of trainees.
  • Training: Also ensures excellence in surgical education, focusing on matters relating to the training environment.
  • Support and Advocacy: Advocates for the health and wellbeing of trainees and is the contact person for complaints or concerns with bullying or harassment.
  • Communications: Manages internal and external communication matters including coordinating articles for Surgical News, social media management and RACSTA brand management.

The Board

Chair: Ruth Mitchell (Neurosurgery, VIC)
Education: Philip Chia (General Surgery, ACT)
Training: Su Mei Hoh (General Surgery, VIC)
Support and Advocacy: Stewart Morrison (Orthopaedic Surgery, VIC)
Communications: Rachel Care (OHNS, NZ)

NZ Representative: Heath Lash
NSW Representative: Shehnarz Salindera
QLD Representative: Damian Fry
VIC Representative: Nicholas Low
TAS Representative: Daniel Breen
WA Representative: Leigh Archer
ACT Representative: Rudyard Wake
SA/NT Representative: Robert McCusker

Cardiothoracic Representative: Gareth Crouch (NSW)
General Surgery (AU) Representative: Thomas Arthur (VIC)
General Surgery (NZ) Representative: Roberto Sthory (NZ)
Neurosurgery Representative: Christopher Daly (VIC)
Orthopaedic (AU) Representative: Scott Taylor (VIC)
Orthopaedic (NZ) Representative: David Lees (NZ)
OHNS (AU) Representative: Marco Raftopulos (NSW)
OHNS (NZ) Representative: Benjamin Chan (NZ)
Paediatric Representative: Kim Aikins (NZ)
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AU) Representative: Sarah Tolerton (NSW)
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (NZ) Representative: Andrew Sanders (NZ)
Urology Representative: Ross Fowler (QLD)
Vascular Surgery Representative: Shrikkanth Rangarajan (NZ)

Co-Opted/Member by Application Representatives:
  • Laura Wang (General Surgery, NSW)
  • Yogeesan Sivakumaran (Vascular Surgery, QLD)
  • Mark Stringer (Orthopaedic Surgery, NZ)
  • William Perry (General Surgery, NZ)
  • Danielle Nizzero (Plastic Surgery, VIC)
Copyright © 2016 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Trainees' Association, All rights reserved.

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