Conference Convener, Dr Ros Pochin, says the anticipation around this year’s conference, Surgery 2022: Care in a Crisis, which is always a calendar highlight, is heightened as it will be the first time it has been held face-to-face since the pandemic.

“This is always a great chance for peers working across the country to reconnect, share their experiences and take away some learnings they can apply to their daily work lives. 

“The speaker line-up is exciting and we’re all looking forward to hearing their presentations and joining in the discussions. But it is also those incidental conversations, and friendships, both new and old, that make this an annual staple for many.”

In a conference first, Surgery 2022 will also be livestreamed in acknowledgement of the time pressure many health professionals are currently under.

Dr Pochin says it is just this pressure that this year’s theme explores.

“Care in a Crisis seems especially relevant after the tumultuous few years we have all faced. We will be exploring the many issues and perspectives around the critically unwell patient and the difficulties of providing care in a system stretched by the pandemic.

“We have speakers discussing the critically unwell patient’s progress; the difficult decisions and discussions that have to occur; as well as the effects of COVID-19 on how we have to deliver care.”

Other conference highlights include:

Dr Avinash Sharma, an Auckland-based general surgeon, will share his experiences living and working in New York during what he terms the "full blown catastrophe" of the early days of COVID-19. 

How to have difficult conversations with critically unwell patients and their whānau is the theme for medical ethicist Associate Professor Gretchen Schwarze, from the University of Wisconsin.

Professor Jonathan Koea and Associate Professor Jason Gurney will be looking at outcomes for Māori patients. Professor Koea (Ngati mutunga, Ngati tama) will draw on his experience as Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at Auckland University and Clinical Leader of Cancer Services at North Shore Hospital. Associate Professor Gurney (Ngāpuhi) is an epidemiologist and Director of the Cancer and Chronic Conditions Research Group at the Otago University, Wellington.

We’ll hear what it’s like to be on the receiving end of an organ donation from bilateral lung transplant recipient Amy Ng-Thomson, and from Grant and Fiona Shennan, who know how it feels to donate your loved one's organs.

Dr Tony Fernando, consultant psychiatrist and senior lecturer in Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland, will remind us of the importance of finding compassion in a crisis.


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