Leadership in a Time of Crisis will be the theme as surgeons from across New South Wales join together to celebrate the annual New South Wales Surgeons’ Month.

The event is designed to provide highlight the diversity within surgery and medicine, and to provide learning opportunities for surgeons and other medical professionals. 

Despite the many challenges posed by COVID-19, RACS NSW Chair, Associate Professor Payal Mukherjee, was determined that the event go ahead, albeit in a slightly modified format.

“Surgeons’ Month has grown every year since its inception. When I took over as Chair of the NSW State Committee, I had big plans for how I wanted to continue to shape this event and expand its profile. But COVID-19 threw all those plans in to disarray, and for a long time it looked as if we would have to cancel it altogether,” said Associate Professor Mukherjee.

“It has been a tough year for everyone in our community, including medical professionals have been at the front line not only during the pandemic, but also during the devastating summer bushfires. I have been very proud of the way health workers have responded, and in the case of surgery, have worked tirelessly to alleviate the pressures that have been placed on elective surgery waiting lists. 

“I have been touched by the many examples of leadership that I have personally witnessed, and it seems only fitting that we recognise and celebrate this. During Surgeons’ Month a number of our colleagues will be presented with awards for their outstanding contributions to surgery and to our community over many years.

Associate Professor Mukherjee said that while the pandemic had created challenges for organisers, it had also provided an opportunity to consider alternative models.

“For the first time we will be offering hybrid events where people can attend either virtually or in person. This isn’t something we have previously considered, but it is really exciting as it helps us to connect with a broader audience, particularly our rural colleagues.

“It is really important that we continue to do this, but I also think it is vital to keep that face to face element as well. As much as I have enjoyed the convenience of virtual meetings and communications, the warmth of coming together and meeting face to face with friends and colleagues is certainly something that I don’t think can ever be completely replaced.”

For more information on Surgeons’ Month including the full event listings and registration details please visit the Surgeons’ Month webpage.