2023 | Volume 24 | Issue 3


Younger Fellows Group shot

Group shot of the delegates 2023


In late April, Younger Fellows participated in the Younger Fellows Forum, held before the Annual Scientific Congress (ASC) in the beautiful surrounds of Hahndorf, nestled in the Adelaide Hills.

Younger Fellows from from around Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand representing a wide range of surgical specialties were selected to attend and join the forum . In addition, the president of the College, members of the College Council, Chair of the Younger Fellows Committee, and three exchange surgeons from international Surgical Fellowships (Hong Kong, Thailand and USA) also participated. 

The forum provided an environment for the delegates to address the challenges facing the College. Ways to maintain the physical and psychological health of the surgical workforce, in an ever-demanding workplace was explored. 

The program also offered a unique opportunity to reflect on the issues that matter most to our Younger Fellows and to advocate for solutions.

Some of the program highlights included time to connect with other Younger Fellows over meals, brainstorming discussions and activities to enhance professional development. With a focus on ‘working smarter not harder’, Darren Williams, an expert external facilitator, used interactive exercises to demonstrate how—with a bit of planning and communication—teams can produce improved results (illustrated with several balls flying through the air!). Later, Fellows were led through a session that helped identify their leadership style, consolidated their learnings from previous sessions and gave them a toolkit to take into professional practice.

“I feel empowered as a future leader to ensuring sustainability of our College,” Feedback on the forum from a Younger Fellow.

Together our Younger Fellows engaged in discussions on topics that impact them and colleagues, turning the spotlight on emerging concerns and formulated several key recommendations to the College Council. These recommendations will influence policy development, helping maintain RACS position as leading advocate for surgical standards, professionalism and surgical education. 

L-R Phillip Morreau, Gayatri Asokan, Sally Langley, Deborah Bailey, Priya Nandoskar

Phillip Morreau, Gayatri Asokan, Sally Langley, Deborah Bailey, Priya Nandoskar.

Co-convenor and Younger Fellow Dr Gayatri Asokan reflected on the weekend’s important discussions—enhancing sustainability in the operating theatre, bolstering the rural workforce, and promoting inclusivity and empowering the mental health of our colleagues.

“What I loved about the forum was meeting and chatting with people from other specialties and other states whom I would never have met otherwise. It allowed for  open minded, non-judgemental and friendly discussion among colleagues, and echoed the theme of the RACS ASC 2023, Equity in Surgery.”