Professor David Watters elected as 45th President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

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26 February 2015

Professor David Watters elected as 45th President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Thursday 26 February 2015

Professor David Watters, Professor of Surgery at Deakin University and Director of Surgery at University Hospital Geelong, and a General Surgeon with special interests in endocrine, emergency and colorectal surgery, has been elected the next President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Professor Watters replaces retiring Professor Michael Grigg and will become President of the College on 7 May at the College's Annual General Meeting, being held this year in Perth, as part of the College's 83rd Annual Scientific Congress.

Professor Watters, the College's Vice President since May 2014 and a Councillor since 2007, was elected President by a vote of the College Council in Melbourne this afternoon.

His previous appointments include ten years as Professor of Surgery at the University of Melbourne, based in Geelong, eight years as Professor of Surgery at the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby, a sabbatical year at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1991, six years as Senior Lecturer at the University of Zambia and senior registrar at the King Edward VIII and McCord Zulu hospitals in Durban, South Africa.

He is an accomplished author and his publication record includes over 100 peer reviewed articles and book chapters covering a wide range of subjects including surgical training, surgical audit, outcomes and performance, trauma, peritonitis, critical care, gastrointestinal disorders, colorectal surgery, tropical diseases and HIV infection.

Professor Watters today acknowledged the work of his predecessor, Professor Michael Grigg, and has undertaken to continue his strong advocacy efforts around important issues such as alcohol-related harm, tobacco, professionalism and excessive fees.

"Michael has worked tirelessly to position the College strategically in the federal health arena and has worked closely with its Fellows in Australia and New Zealand," Professor Watters said.

"Externally, the biggest challenge facing surgeons and surgery in Australia and New Zealand is the ongoing reform and sustainability of the health system. This has involved strong College advocacy to inform governments on both sides of the Tasman on health policy.

The College is determined to work closely with all governments to get this reform process right and ensure that it leads to a sustainable and safe health sector.

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