Another year, another ASM and in Cairns, WIN was more present and more active than ever. Although the theme was trauma, other issues including the culture of ICU and gender equity were squarely on the agenda also. Here's the low down the ASM, and what the committee was doing to advocate for gender equality at this important forum.
The ASM opened with a moving series of talks from Dr. James McKay and Dr. Louise Hitchings on their experiences and response to the Christchurch terrorist attack earlier this year. It was truly a privilege to hear of the remarkable response from the first responders and the staff at Christchurch hospital. Before that, WIN’s own Dr. Sarah Yong opened the trainee symposium with a fantastic talk on the gender balance in intensive care medicine. Her talk included an outline on the current state of play in ANZ ICUs (see our metrics page for more details), the common biases women in medicine face, current evidence and best practice and practical solutions that everyone can use to raise awareness on gender issues within their unit. It was a very well received talk with some very insightful questions from the audience. I also ended the trainee symposium with an embarrassing (and heartfelt) speech thanking Sarah for all her amazing work as New Fellows rep as she gets ready to pass the baton over to our Events Coordinator Dr. Nicky Dobos.
In the early Sunday morning panel, I spoke about WIN’s achievements in ensuring both CICM and ANZICS committed to gender targets across their organisation and meetings, the common barriers faced by women in intensive care medicine, the impact of lack of access to part time training and possible reasons why only 9 out of 42 new graduates presenting the night before were female. This was followed by some very robust discussions both during and after the sessions (and all the way to the airport!).
There were of course, trauma talks aplenty and the organising committee should be commended not only for the program itself but for keeping such a theme relevant for those of us who don't work in a trauma centre. From anticoagulation reversal, to new age hybrid theatres (where interventional radiology AND surgical theatres can be found in one location), to the management of rib fractures, there was relevance not only for trauma medicine but for every day intensive care practice.
Where to next? Watch out for the World Congress of Intensive Care where WIN will be hosting a gender equity think tank.