The RACS 89th Annual Scientific Congress - RCSEd Hub

The RACS 89th Annual Scientific Congress - RCSEd Hub

 The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh recently hosted the official Edinburgh hub in partnership with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) for the 89th Annual Scientific Congress on 13 and 14 May. RCSEd were due to attend the ACS, a collaboration between both colleges, in person, but unfortunately pandemic circumstances required a change of plans. We selected a variety of fantastic talks from the Melbourne conference and invited members and colleagues to the College to view these, as well as hosting live talks from expert speakers. This was the first face-to-face meeting of around 30 Members, Fellows and guests at the College since the beginning of the pandemic, running in line with government COVID guidance. 

The inaugural Edinburgh hub was widely received by all attendees as a great success, with engaging discussion and thought-provoking learnings to be had. RCSEd were delighted to host Professor Jason Leitch, who attended to give an in-person presentation. Jason covered the impact of COVID-19, safety in surgical practice and rounded off with a Q&A from our audience. We also welcomed David Sedgwick, Consultant Rural Surgeon, where he discussed the art of training in a different culture and generalism of Rural Surgery in the UK.

RCSEd President, Professor Michael Griffin led the event, giving his own presentation on communication and had this to say on his experience:

It was heart-warming to see the expressions of joy and pleasure at meeting old friends at an academic meeting. We were fortunate to welcome Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director for Healthcare in Scotland and Dr Catherine Calderwood, Executive National Clinical Director of Centre for Sustainable Delivery of Health and Social Care. David Sedgwick, Consultant Surgeon in Fort William, was also a contributor to the RACS meeting discussing the provision of surgery in remote and rural environments. On a personal level, I enjoyed delivering the President’s Lecture on communication with cancer patients and their families. Everyone agreed that the interactions were stimulating and enjoyable and I hope that this theme can be repeated at the 2022 RACS meeting in Brisbane.

The College is pleased to have been able to take part in the RACS Annual Scientific Congress in a virtual setting, and hope to attend in person with our Australian colleagues for RACS ASC 2022.



The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons shared an account of how the Annual Scientific Congress preformed in Melbourne:

The 89th Annual Scientific Congress of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), was held in Melbourne from 10 to 14 May 2021 and was a resounding success.

Covid-19 derailed the 2020 Congress but served to inspire the theme for 2021 ‘Celebrating the art of surgery - in a time of disruption.’ Encouraging reflection on the changes to our lives over the last year, the congress aimed to illustrate how we’ve been creative and agile in our response to this disruptive force as well as in surgical practice.

The Congress, a collaboration between RACS and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) was a week full of great presentations, engaged delegates from around the world, and speakers including Professor Michael Griffin, RCSEd President who spoke on the emotive topic of talking to patients with cancer.

Here are some facts and figures we gathered on the Congress. 

3706 – the largest number of registrants ever at an RACS ASC with 2860 attending virtually and 846 onsite around Australia, New Zealand, the UK and other hubs 

  • 285 sessions 
  • 986 posters and 1212 verbal presentations 
  • 1258 presenters 
  • 106 overseas presenters 
  • 153 new Fellows with 83 onsite across Australia and New Zealand and 70 attending virtually 
  • 3440 people watched the Plenary session on Thursday. 

Below are a selection of images from the RACS ASC in Melbourne:

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