Quo Vadis O&G Magazine?
This issue of O&G has been conceived and birthed as RANZCOG emerges from the exhaustive exercise required for the Australian Medical Council reaccreditation. This official navel gazing process involves justifying the very existence of all aspects of the College and comes as a new Council and Board have been elected. I feel it is therefore the right time to explain how this publication is put together and look at what it can offer our readers into the future.
O&G Magazine is published quarterly as an educational magazine, not a peer-reviewed journal. It has a circulation of more than 6000 O&G specialists, trainees, GPs and other health professionals with an interest in women’s health. The magazine has an extensive website (ogmagazine.org.au) where many thousands more browse the articles. In 2022, there were more than 377,000 website users, about 30% from Australia and another 30% from the United States. Ninety percent of the website traffic comes from organic (e.g., Google) searches. For years the most searched article was from 2016, Caesarean Section: Step by Step (by Dr Frances Hills). This article still gets nearly 40,000 hits a year.
The Magazine Advisory Group does the work of brainstorming themes, deciding on specific articles, commissioning and haranguing authors, while the production editor at Djeembana manages the layout, artwork, advertising, printing and distribution. For years this role was so competently filled by Sarah Ortenzio, and I would like to thank her for her guidance, friendship, and expertise. We are awaiting the appointment of a new person to fill these big shoes.
The terms of reference of the Advisory Group specify a range of about a dozen members, from the general fellowship, from regional areas and Aotearoa New Zealand, trainees, diplomates, and more recently a consumer representative and, hopefully soon, Indigenous and Māori representatives. During the pandemic with its lack of face-to-face meetings our group dwindled to a few hard-core individuals, but we are now reaching out to build up the numbers to join us and bring in fresh ideas and contacts.
We usually aim for three clinical and one varied theme each year, revisiting classics and pushing the boundaries of how our speciality relates to life in general. Upcoming possibilities are ‘Babies’, ‘Informed Birth’ and ‘Sustainability.’
This edition is called ‘Now and Beyond’ and looks at what the College offers now, and where we may go in the future. New ideas about how and where to undertake training and assessment. Important work in mapping regional women’s health needs. Very new gadgets such as robots, and one very old gadget, the obstetric forceps, which has saved the lives of thousands but is now viewed in a new light with the current interest in birth trauma. The Medical Board of Australia is mandating new conditions for CPD, and our College is ahead in providing appropriate, speciality specific training in areas such as cultural safety. The articles by Sue Fleming and Nisha Khot show how personal this concept is. Nisha also has her final inspiring interview, and we have personal contributions from our new magazine consumer representative and advanced trainees working overseas.
O&G Magazine belongs to all of us, and we are reaching out to our membership and beyond for ideas for future topics and articles. Please visit the online archive to see past issues and send your inspiring ideas to [email protected].