The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 2016 Tasmanian-Victorian Annual Scientific Meeting

04 January 2016

Media statement

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and the Organising Committee of the 2016 Tasmanian-Victorian Annual Scientific Meeting wish to make the following statement with respect to the debate topic that had been listed on the meeting program and created significant controversy in the media.

  1. The Organising Committee was very surprised that some have taken the facetious wording of the debate literally. The intent of the provocative title was to attract attention in a manner that was so ridiculous that it could not be misinterpreted as being in any way advocated. Unfortunately, this appears to have still occurred in some quarters.
  2. In view of the above literal interpretation, the Organising Committee have elected to remove the debate as previously worded and replace it with a session entitled ‘Pregnancy and Parenting during Specialist Training’. Given that more than 80% of RANZCOG trainees and young consultants are female, combining parenting with training is a very important issue for many trainees. The intent of the Organising Committee is to relate their own experiences of parenting during training and address contemporary issues of relevance including matters related to the employing hospitals. It is noteworthy that the Organising Committee comprises a trainee, four female practising O&G specialists and a GP - all the latter with children.
  3. The College is fully committed to reproductive choices during training and in fact has worked hard to facilitate reproductive choices during training with recent revisions to many aspects of its training program to further this objective. The College hopes it is seen as a leader in this area but is always keen to improve further. Revisions have included: 
    1. The introduction of fractional training
    2. Assessment of short-term training periods
    3. Extended length of training
    4. Accruing training time in weeks
    5. Not including extended leave of absence as time in training

In summary, the Organising Committee confirms removal of the debate topic (given that the wording has been open to misinterpretation), but will continue to conduct a session on the topic of pregnancy, parenting and training. Both the Organising Committee and the College are completely committed to reproductive choice during training.

To arrange an interview with Associate Professor Amanda Dennis, please contact:

Launceston General Hospital
Women & Children’s Services
+61 3 6348 8972

Read Amanda Dennis's opinion piece on 6 January in The Australian on Controversy turns focus on pregnancy and professional training (pdf, 166.56 kB)



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