Join Us in Ballarat This November

On behalf of the Organising Committee, it is with great pleasure that we invite you to the 55th annual Provincial Surgeons of Australia 2019 Annual Scientific Conference, taking place in Ballarat, Victoria, from 1st to 4th November 2019.

This is a proud moment in the history of the Provincial Surgeons of Australia as the meeting returns to Ballarat, the home of the late Jim Pryor, one of the founding members of the society. The Jim Pryor Begonia Prize, named in his honour, is a feature of every PSA ASC, aiming to unearth original surgical innovation.

We have compiled a compelling program commencing with a Colorectal Laparoscopic Simulation workshop on Friday 01 November, facilitated by Dr Carolyn Vasey and Dr John Lumley; both accomplished laparoscopic Colorectal Surgeons. Sessions will cover live theatre cases and video sessions featuring laparoscopic colonic resections, TAMIS, transanal resections, and fistula repair. 

Day one of the PSA ASC Scientific Program commences on Saturday 02 November with a combined rural and regional Anaesthetic Special Interest Group program, looking at prehabilitation, resuscitation and management of acute trauma and deteriorating patients, retrieval and transfer protocols, early recovery programs, and failure to rescue in surgical patients. The program will feature presentations from Specialist Trauma Surgeons, Intensivists and Emergency Physicians. We are particularly honoured to welcome home Dr Mark Fitzgerald - Head of the Alfred Hospital Emergency Department and Trauma Service, who will be discussing trauma management in Australia.

Day two of the program is the main Surgical Program with presentations from visiting specialists discussing the training and skills required of rural and regional surgeons in areas including Breast and Endocrine, Colorectal, and Upper GI. Innovation in Surgery and Robotics in relation to the Rural Surgeon will also be a feature session, along with Colonoscopy Recertification and Interventional Techniques.

Monday 04 November will conclude the Conference with a video session - I would encourage video case submissions for this session. We will also be running a live theatre session investigating laparoscopic hernia repairs, complicated laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and laparoscopic bariatric surgery.

We also have planned exciting Social and Associates Programs designed to showcase the region: Social events include a joint Welcome Reception at local Anaesthetist and wine maker Dr Craig Mitchell’s Wine Bar, the Gala Dinner at the Mechanics Institute, and the PSA Dinner at Ballarat Yacht Club. The Associates Program includes a rural homestead visit and a day trip to nearby Daylesford with its world-famous mineral spas. There will also be the option of a morning run along the Steve Moneghetti track around lake Wendouree with the man himself on the Sunday morning.

We are pleased to announce a number of esteemed speakers including Dr Samantha Quade, who hails from Horsham in Western Victoria, and attended Ballarat Grammar School before pursuing a nursing career in Australia, culminating in becoming charge nurse of ICU at the Alfred hospital. She was recruited to the USA where she undertook a career in medicine, graduating from Arizona State University. She then completed surgical training in Arizona before undertaking a Trauma Fellowship in Louisiana and subsequently a Colorectal Fellowship. She now practises at Harbourside University Hospital in Seattle, primarily in Robotic Colorectal Surgery.

Additionally, Dr John Lumley from Brisbane, Dr Ben Green, also from Brisbane, and Dr Damian Ah-Yen from New Zealand, will also be joining us.

We realise that the meeting agenda is somewhat crowded in the later part of the year across Australia, but we have done our best to put together an innovative program with an emphasis on video presentations, live surgery and interaction with our anaesthetic colleagues. We ask all Rural and Regional Surgeons along with interested metropolitan Surgeons and Surgical Trainees, to consider supporting the PSA, come along to Ballarat this November, and make the PSA 2019 ASC a vibrant and informative meeting.

As a reminder to registrars, those interested in submitting research, the PSA ASC is a national meeting and podium presentations carry two points towards your CV for surgical training applications. We are now accepting abstracts up until COB 19 August

Early November is generally a wonderful time of year in Ballarat with spring in full bloom - you can expect rain, hail and sunshine. So pack your bags, throw in an umbrella, mark 01-04 November off in the diary, and let’s see you all in Ballarat for Melbourne Cup weekend

Yours sincerely,

Mr Bruce Stewart FRACS
Scientific Convenor