Welcome to the latest issue of O&G Magazine. In my last article, I mentioned that we have had to adapt to new ways of working and that at any moment, given the ongoing situation of the pandemic, things could change in an instant. As I write this article, Melbourne has just commenced our 6th lockdown with a small resurgence of community cases that have the state on edge. Our thoughts and well wishes go to all states across Australia and New Zealand; we are all, in some way, dealing with the current uncertainty and unpredictability of life.
It has truly been amazing to witness the hard work and ongoing commitment of College members, trainees and staff as we continue to persevere through a very challenging and unprecedented time in our lives. We continue to work towards the improvement of health outcomes for women across Australia and New Zealand and I am pleased to report on our achievements since the last issue of O&G Magazine.
The College has officially relocated to 1 Bowen Crescent, Melbourne and in the short bursts of opportunity between lockdowns, when staff have been able to attend the office, we have had positive feedback and excitement in the air at the prospect of connecting and interacting with each other in person again. We look forward to welcoming all our members and trainees to College Place at Bowen Crescent.
The theme of this O&G Magazine is technology and in previous issues, have mentioned how much technology has become an even greater, more pervasive part of our lives as we have migrated to a working-from-home, hybrid model. Never has it been more important to have the right systems in place for service delivery, but we now also need to have the appropriate systems in place for interaction and engagement with each other. The world has changed, how we interact has changed and our reliance on fit-for-purpose technology is paramount.
Our new online portal, Integrate, is currently being developed with phase one set to launch end of August. Phase one will provide the foundation for RANZCOG’s future training and CPD program delivery and will facilitate more accuracy of membership and training information. Following the phase one launch, CPD will be redeveloped for the new program starting July 2022, while the FRANZCOG training program is ported over from My.RANZCOG as well as bringing DRANZCOG online. The College is also working on revitalising our website, which is scheduled to go live at the end of the year. In addition to this, our new Learning Management System is being developed and analyses for potential exam question databank and new online solutions for written exams ae being investigated.
The areas that have experienced a massive shift to technology-based service delivery are the College’s assessments, exams, workshops and events. Since the start of the pandemic and our increased reliance on technology, we have held more than 80 webinars including FRANZCOG and DRANZCOG revision courses and consumer and member information sessions: 14 large-scale events including our Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), QLD Regional Scientific Meeting (RSM), South Australian/Northern Territory RSM and the RANZCOG Women’s Health Summit (both hybrid events). In addition to this, approximately 250 candidates across FRANZCOG, DRANZCOG and Subspecialties sat online exams.
I would like to extend a formal congratulations to the newly announced RANZCOG Board whom, along with President-elect, Dr Benjamin Bopp, will continue the great work of our current College Board and President Dr Vijay Roach, over the next two years. I am also proud to announce that RANZCOG has exceeded our targets set for female representation on the incoming Board and we have a fantastic and broad representation of linguistic and cultural diversity as well as backgrounds and experience that reflects that of our membership. The new Board will take office after the Annual General Meeting in November. I extend a warm welcome and congratulations to the College’s newly elected 12th RANZCOG Council members. The RANZCOG Council have an important role in contributing to many of our College committees and shaping our strategic direction for the coming term. The Board and I look forward to working closely with you in championing the important work of the College.
In 2024, the College is due for full reaccreditation by Australian Medical Council (AMC) and Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ). The College has formed a working group that will prepare the reaccreditation by assessing all accreditation standards across the College, in consultation with appropriate stakeholders. Currently we are working on feedback from our last progress report to the AMC and how this can be incorporated in our training programs.
I am pleased to announce that RANZCOG recently launched a Bullying Discrimination and Harassment Survey. The survey will aim to capture an anonymous snapshot of the workplaces and training environments in which our members and trainees work. The information will then be reviewed by an independent Advisory Working Group who will provide recommendations to RANZCOG on how we as an organisation can support, advocate and cultivate respectful workplaces and aid in the prevention of bullying harassment and discrimination within the wider O&G specialty.
Finally, as always, I send my sincere gratitude and acknowledgment to the RANZCOG Board and President Dr Vijay Roach, who have had a very difficult and challenging 18 months but have continued to lead the College with grace and focus. I look forward to working closely with you during the transition to our new Board and Council.