Optimising Surgical Outcomes
Vol. 26 No 1 | Autumn 2024
From the President
Dr Gillian Gibson

There is no doubt that obstetrics is what drew me to a career in O&G, but the combination of medicine and surgery in our speciality was also very appealing. I reflect over my working life how much progress has been made towards optimising surgical outcomes. These include improvements to the informed consent process, better provision of patient information and perioperative team talk with huddles, timeout and sign out now commonplace. At the time of writing, I have just attended a meeting at my local hospital discussing a new quality tool which invites theatre participants to consider “what went well, what can we change for next time, what would be the action?”, with favourable feedback.

Gynaecological surgery is very much a focus for the College coming into 2024. As part of our commitment to improving training opportunities in gynaecological surgery, in 2023 we established the RANZCOG Gynaecological Surgery Training Working Group. This group of experts are tasked with looking at ways that we can ensure our trainees and members maximise opportunities for access to advanced and more complex gynaecological surgery, and to become confident, well-rounded fellows at the completion of training. I see this working group as having a critical role in tackling one of the most challenging aspects of our specialty.

We are actively engaging with regulatory bodies in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia to advocate for our members undergoing urogynaecological credentialing, one of the requirements to lifting the current pause on use of surgical mesh in New Zealand. The College is committed to supporting our members through the credentialing process, and should any members require additional support we encourage you to contact us. I’d like to make special mention to our New Zealand Vice-President, Dr Sue Fleming, and the New Zealand office for their tireless efforts with negotiations in this area.

I was pleased to see an exemplary completion rate above 93% among our membership with the most recent Fellowship cycle for CPD, with members aligned to a single annual reporting date. The new FRANZCOG curriculum was launched this year and is well and truly underway, with first year trainees being the first group to train under the new framework. We are confident that the changes to our curriculum will be well received by the trainees, and I am excited to see the outcomes of such a comprehensive program.

The implementation of an evidence-based process in the development of College guidelines and statements has led to a significant improvement in the quality of information we provide our members. We look forward to sharing the next tranche of updates to the guidelines and statements with you in 2024, one of which is an evidence-based guideline on miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. I’d like to recognise the expertise and time contributed by clinicians to date and encourage you to consider nominating for this exciting project work, led by the Research and Policy team.

The AMC/MCNZ reaccreditation report has now been received by the College, and I am delighted that the College has been recognised as a leader among medical colleges, which is reflected in the report. I would like to extend my thanks to all members, trainees and staff that were involved in the reaccreditation process, and I look forward to working with you further to address the recommendations in the report, particularly embedding cultural safety into O&G training.

In closing, it would be remiss not to remark on the impact of respectful behaviour in optimising surgical outcomes and training experience. The recent RANZCOG discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment survey results show there is still room for further improvement, recognising unprofessional behaviour in theatre not only harms the recipient, but potentially compromises patient care and safety.

We hope you enjoy this issue of O&G Magazine!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *