We are committed to building respect in surgery in Australia and
New Zealand, and dealing with bullying, discrimination, harassment
and sexual harassment.
Our Action Plan: Building Respect, Improving Patient
Safety outlines the work we are doing on culture and
leadership in surgery; improving surgical education and
strengthening complaints management.
What to watch for in 2017
Our work to build a culture of respect is continuing in 2017.
This year's priorities include:
- supporting all Fellows, Trainees and IMGs to complete the
e-learning module. This is mandatory and a CPD 2017
- supporting surgical educators to do the Foundation Skills for
Surgical Educators (FSSE) course. Mandatory if you teach or train
SET trainees or supervise IMGs
- launching face to face training to strengthen the skills of
surgical educators to identify and deal effectively with DBSH
- providing a leadership development program, through the
surgical leaders forum
- implementing the RACS Diversity and Inclusion Plan
- establishing accreditation arrangements with suppliers and
partners to support the delivery of surgical education and
- creating other pathways to support individuals and help them
take a lead in cultural change.
During 2016, the connection between DBSH and patient safety
became clearer and less contentious. I suspect we have all known
this intuitively for a long time, but the evidence to confirm this is growing.
Our commitment to change has been galvanised by this fact and
because our SET Trainees and IMGs must learn in a safe
The problems of DBSH extend well beyond surgery and affect the
whole health sector. During 2016, many other agencies committed to
dealing with it. RACS has been engaging with a broad range of
organisations including hospitals, universities, health departments
and other health jurisdictions so we can work together, with a
common goal, to create effective change. Other specialist medical
colleges are now approaching us to enquire about our resources and
partnering with us.
Our campaign - Let's Operate With Respect - has given
real focus to our work. Many surgeons have been generous in
allowing us to use their faces on our campaign posters. They and
their colleagues have taken a strong stand in their own spheres of
influence, and have facilitated many of our
agreements with hospital networks.
It is now up to each of us as surgeons to play our part. We need
to lead the way wherever we work, to advocate for change, to stand
up to unacceptable behavior and show what it looks like to operate
with respect. There are things we can all do in
our hospitals to build a culture of respect.
How we behave and what we consider acceptable, shapes our
culture and our profession. Let's operate with respect.
Mr Philip Truskett AM, President
Professor Spencer Beasley, Vice President
Tackling discrimination and more
Being a surgeon takes more than technical excellence. How we
behave shapes our culture and profession.
We are serious about putting an end to bullying, discrimination,
harassment and sexual harassment in surgery. What we are doing is
outlined in our
Action Plan. This work is focused on three main areas: culture
and leadership, improving surgical education and strengthening
More than 20 projects are now underway, many of which will take
more than three years to deliver.
Read more about the
highlights of our achievements in 2016.
We will soon be publishing a report of our work in 2016 to keep
you up to date with the work we are doing to implement the Action
Updated policies and procedures
We have updated many of our policies and procedures to make sure
they reflect RACS commitment to building respect, and improving
Some of the most important policies and procedures we have
developed or updated include:
We have done a lot of work to improve surgical education. We
have developed learning opportunities for surgeons to find out more
about bullying, discrimination and harassment in the workplace and
learn what they can do about it.
- elearning module on DBSH. Mandatory for all College
Fellows, Trainees and IMGs. Integrated with RACS'
continuing professional development program. CPD 2017
- Expanded the Foundation Skills for Surgical Educators course,
to strengthen surgical education. Mandatory for surgeons
who teach or train SET trainees or supervise IMGs.
- Face to face training to help surgeons deal with
discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment coming in mid