Vol. 23 No 4 | Summer 2021
From the President
Dr Benjamin Bopp

This article is 3 years old and may no longer reflect current clinical practice.

This issue of O&G Magazine focuses on Language – spoken, written and unspoken – its history and contemporary challenges. Language, like our College, is always evolving and responding to the influences of changing needs, technologies, and expectations. Topics range from the origins of medical terminology to the description of pain and the importance of culturally appropriate and respectful language.

Not long ago, growth-restricted babies were growth ‘retarded’, but we still have lots of language failures – ‘failure’ to progress, ‘failed’ induction, ovarian ‘failure’, all assuming that we’re beyond an ‘incompetent’ cervix. This very digestible issue also includes culinary words used in pathology, ‘problematic’ words, and you may be swayed by revelations about body language. Thank you to the team who have contributed, edited, and collated this issue of O&G Magazine.

By the time of publication, we will have a new, Twelfth RANZCOG Council and Board and we acknowledge and thank our outgoing President. Dr Vijay Roach has provided three years of tireless hard work, passionate advocacy, and determined leadership for our College during probably the most complex time in its history. I’m indebted to Vijay as a fellow Board member and friend who, with the other Past Presidents and many members, I will be reaching out to for guidance and advice over the next two years.

To the numerous colleagues who have served the College at Committee, Council and Board level but who are now taking a well-deserved break, thank you! The pro bono contribution of our membership is the backbone of College work.

Your Federal College Council has 22 elected representatives, 13 of whom are new to the role and currently four of the seven elected board members will also be serving their first term. 18 of 24 Federal RANZCOG Councillors and five of nine Board members are women. This is a time of considerable renewal. Hopefully as borders reopen, we can meet again, regularly in Melbourne at our new College Place and all members can gather for social and educational events. 2019 seems a century ago!

This Council term will consolidate RANZCOG’s new ways of doing business – physically, virtually, and politically, and we will be listening closely to our Fellows, Diplomates, and trainees to help address their concerns. We will prioritise advocacy issues where RANZCOG is one of few voices available to support and advance the needs of our membership in the women’s health space.

The origin of many medical terms is Latin, for which there is a famous rhyme known to its long-suffering students:

Latin is a dead language,
Dead as dead can be
First it killed the Romans
Now it is killing me!

To paraphrase Freidrich Nietzsche; whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! An unfortunately applicable sentiment during these challenging world times.

To you and your families, wherever they may be, have a safe, happy and healthy summer.


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