Dr Debbie Nisbet
‘The College is all of us. It is the Members, the Diplomates, and the College staff and the trainees, unified and with purpose.’
That is what the College means to Dr Debbie Nisbet, a Victorian representative on RANZCOG’s Council.
“I put my hand up for Council as it gives me an opportunity to address areas I believe require change. I have enjoyed my involvement with the College in the past, including being involved in Nuchal Translucency education and assessment, the COGU examination committee, and chairing the COGU Subspeciality committee. I have also enjoyed representing the College including on the committee overseeing the accreditation of diagnostic imaging services, and viewed the Council as the next step,” Debbie, a COGU Subspecialist, says.
What kind of approach has Debbie, who works in both public and private practice in Melbourne, taken to being a Councillor? “In an organisation the size of RANZCOG, the corporate approach may lead to a perception of distancing or being ‘out-of-reach’ for many members,” she says. “Therefore, those holding positions representing others need to take their role and its transparency very seriously. A consistent and approachable leadership is required, open to discussion and feedback.”
With Victoria having the highest number of COGU subspecialists, addressing inequities for women, especially around Medicare and pelvic and obstetric ultrasound, has been a long-held passion for Debbie which she has advocated for during her time on Council. “With ultrasound providing an opportunity to directly compare items specifically designed for men with those for women, we can see the inequity; women and those who provide their ultrasounds remain undervalued in comparison with items used for men. This needs to change.”
Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs) is another focus area for Debbie. “The process doesn’t reflect what we see clinically at the moment and there is an opportunity to review this.”
Debbie would urge her colleagues to get involved in the College. “It’s actually fun,” she says. “It’s mentally stimulating. And when you feel frustrated at how something is done and no one will listen, you can think it through and actually do something about it.”
2023 is a RANZCOG election year – this is your opportunity to get involved in the College, have your say and make a difference. To find out how you can get involved, visit the RANZCOG website.