The Women in Surgery Section aims to:
- encourage and support all Fellow Trainees, but females in particular;
- be a source of advice and guidance for Council in relation to gender and Trainee issues;
- develop guidelines and policies to combat the numerous issues faced by all individuals in the surgical field, and
- remove any barriers Trainees or medical graduates face through the development of a mentoring program within the College to assist medical students, Trainees and young surgeons.
- Developing the Women in Surgery Business Plan 2017 - 2021 (PDF 1.36MB). The plan outline's the Sections' objectives, backed by tangible indicators, to promote leadership, role modelling, flexible training and advocacy. The Section released a discussion paper on Flexible Training (PDF 200.69KB).
- Assisting in the development of some of the College's key policies and related documents. It has been fundamental in establishing guidelines on issues such as discrimination and harassment, and safe working hours, and plans to continue this work with a mentoring scheme
- Scientific and education programs, including the Women in Surgery Breakfast, are run at the Annual Scientific Congress (ASC)
RACS Women in Surgery essay competition 2022
The Women in Surgery section once again ran a medical student essay competition. This year’s topic was “The myth of meritocracy: What RACS can do to dismantle it.”
The author of the winning essay was chosen by the committee will receive complimentary registration to the 2022 RACS Annual Scientific Congress in Brisbane (02 to 06 May 2022) either virtually or in-person (pending any Covid-related travel restrictions or border closures. A winner outside Brisbane will receive complimentary flights and accommodation. All other costs will be at the winner’s own expense).
Congratulations to Denna Fryer of Australia National University for her essay. (PDF 197.89KB)
RACS celebrating International Women's Day 2022
International Women's Day function - 9 March 2022
In conjunction with the Academy of Surgical Educators' Educator Studio Session, network with Victorian surgeons at a face-to-face evening at RACS in Melbourne.
RACS Women in Surgery essay competition 2021
Women in Surgery ran a medical student essay competition with this year’s topic ‘Women in medical leadership: having a quota makes for better representation’.
The prize for this competition was registration to the upcoming ASC. Links to the two winners entries are as follows:
Congratulations to both winners!
RACS inaugural Women in Surgery essay competition 2019
Born from the desire to encourage women studying medicine into a surgical career, the Women in Surgery (WIS) Section Committee held a medical student essay competition in 2019.
The prize - a trip to Bangkok to attend the 2019 Annual Scientific Congress - proved a hit with young medical students as entries started to pour in from October through to late January. The theme Are surgery and social media incompatible resonated with the female medical student cohort as RACS received a staggering 76 essays. The selection panel, made up of members of the WIS committee, spent many hours reading through the essays as well as deliberating over the final shortlist.
One panel member remarked there were "so many high quality essays - it was so difficult to choose".
Monash University medical student, Jessie Zhou, won the competition with her essay 'Are surgery and social media incompatible? The impact of social media on Surgery in our Brave New World.' (PDF 266.17KB)
Medical student/Women in Medicine events
The Women in Surgery Section welcome enquiries from medical student organisations and societies about events they may be organising. The Section is keen to work with these organisations and can provide some assistance such as providing speakers, panel members and presenters. Email the contact below for further information.
Membership to the Women in Surgery Section is optional and open to Fellows, Trainees, SIMGs, junior doctors and medical students.
All members have access to the WiS Section's strategic plan, papers for the Section's annual business meeting at the ASC and various other resources via the RACS Portal. If you are interested in becoming a member, please forward your details to the Secretariat.
Fellows, Trainees and IMGs are welcome to discuss issues with an Executive Committee member via email.
The Section is governed by a Committee as per the Sections Terms of Reference (PDF 276.1KB)reporting to the RACS Fellowship Services Committee:
Committee Chair - Dr Christine Lai (FRACS)
Deputy Chair - Dr Pecky De Silva FRACS (NSW)
Committee member - Dr Tracey Barnes FRACS (NZ)
Committee member - Dr Sarah Coll FRACS (QLD), also 2022 ASC Convener
Committee member - Dr Edwina Moore FRACS (VIC)
Committee member - Dr Stephanie Weidlich FRACS (NT)
Committee member - Ms Nadya York (NZ)
Dr Hari Bandi FRACS (Co-opted member - ACT representative)
Dr Catherine Cartwright (Co-opted member - 2023 ASC Convener)
Women in Surgery Section Secretariat
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
250-290 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia
Telephone: +61 3 9249 1259
Fax: +61 3 9276 7432