President's Blog

Final blog – where has the time gone?

22 August 2022
4.87 Min Read

By NZSAwebadmin
Final blog – where has the time gone?Main Image

August 2022

My final blog! Where have those two years gone? It has been a rather constrained two years as President.

My first and only face-to-face ASA council meeting scheduled for the end of this month has been moved to Zoom due to COVID numbers in Sydney. Whilst we have been meeting regularly, this means I will complete my term with no face-to-face meetings with either the ASA or ANZCA council. It was a similar case for Vanessa Beavis during her time as ANZCA President, she did at least manage one face-to-face Council meeting, her first and last all-in-one! On the one hand, the reduced travel has meant less time consumed for that purpose, but of course, the price has been the relationships, the connections, which you just cannot get when all your contact is via screens.

I have been thinking a lot over the last few years about how future CME activities look – as a professional organisation leading the call to government to take action on climate change, we as individuals have a responsibility to do our bit too. Of course, an easy target to reduce our emissions is to reduce our travel. However, AQUA this weekend reminded me how important face-to-face educational meetings are too. AQUA is quite special, it is a small, intimate meeting with generalised updates, really an opportunity for our Anaesthetic whānau to come together. All those little interactions with people in the coffee queue, the little chats in passing, and of course the opportunity to catch up at the social functions. It was just so nice seeing everyone and hearing how they are getting on. These interactions are how many relationships are maintained with those in our networks whom we don’t see regularly. Good work Neil and team for keeping this meeting a regular on our calendar!

It would be remiss not to talk about the importance of the educational opportunity of conferences. AQUA provided a compact update on many topics that were all extremely relevant. I was shocked to see the allergy rates of a rocuronium/sugammadex combo that Karen Pedersen shared in her Anaphylaxis update – that’s my favourite, but it’s right up there with Sux. I knew about the roc rates and that sugammadex had an allergy rate, but how had I not known it was this high?? I was a little shocked at the fact that I had not kept up to date. It is a constant concern on my mind, how do I keep up to date and prevent becoming an outlier in my practice? I actually cannot remember the last time I read a full journal article (rather than just the TLDR on Twitter), so I do rely on conferences for my updates. Of course, as I’m sure many of you will appreciate, I spend a huge amount of time reading documents, policies, standards, government docs and so on, but that comes at the expense of what I would regard as my personal professional reading.

It seems quite timely that in the last couple of weeks the College has released the details of the requirements of our updated CPD programme. The update has been brought about by a change in the standards set by the Australian Medical Board, Australian Medical Council and the NZ Medical Council. The programme will move to an hours-based system, with an increase in the time required when compared to the credit equivalent, more of a focus on practice evaluation and a move from a three-yearly programme to an annual programme. Although the annual programme initially seems a bit arduous, the rationale for this is sound and evidence shows it maintains more relevancy when reviewed annually. I have to confess I have no idea what I wrote in my plan two years ago! So I hope the annual review will make me a bit more focused on what I need to achieve each year. We will have a list of FAQs on our website soon regarding the new programme and of course, the main place to head to for details on the programme and how it affects you is the College website: https://www.anzca.edu.au/education-training/anzca-and-fpm-cpd-program/2023-anzca-and-fpm-cpd-program

I was asked recently ‘what will my life look like in five years?’ (and slightly more confronting, ‘if I was happy?’). It’s an important question and takes me back to the importance of planning in all aspects of life, not just CPD. I did used to have my five-year plan on my wall, but it has gone by the wayside of late. Probably as I have become more settled in my SMO and personal life there seemed to be less on it! But of course, if I don’t have a plan, how do I prevent life from just happening to me? With the end of the NZSA president role approaching it is a good opportunity to reflect on what is important to me, and what I fill that time with. Of course, if I fill it with anything! Maybe it will be good to have a little more time to focus on the things I already have on the go (and am only doing half a job at). Rather than just falling into another role, I must think about what I want to spend my time doing and be proactive in that decision-making. I have to confess, a bit more time on my bike and out walking that fab pooch of mine sounds mighty appealing…

I’m looking forward to seeing you all in October at the NZSA/ASA Combined Scientific Congress in Wellington, it will be a fabulous opportunity to enjoy some face-to-face time, a great programme and of course maintain our networks and relationships when we catch up through the social programme – that will also keep us all well entertained over the three-and-a-half days. Hopefully, the gazillion slips from the recent rain (well, rather deluge) will be cleared by then….