Jellybean 062 with Sarah Yong

Sarah Yong. One of many women leading the way in intensive care medicine. It’s a WIN win!

Sarah Yong is an impressive person. Advocacy, Training, Representation and being a new fellow of the College of Intensive Care to boot. (Check her out on Mastering Intensive Care 025..)

There is a lot to talk about when you sit down with Dr Sarah Yong. Let’s make it easier by focussing on three big issues;

Gender issues; Women in Intensive Care Network.
Training issues; The Critical Care Collaborative and the Victorian Primary Examination Course for CICM. The Trainee Symposium at CICM ASM.
Representation issues; New Fellows Rep on the Board of the College of Intensive Care Medicine

Where to start?

The Women in Intensive Care Network or W.I.N. (@WomenIntensive on twitter) WIN is co-convened by Sarah and Dr Lucy Modra. Sarah gives all the credit to Lucy. I suspect Lucy might do something equally graceful.

If my sources are correct there pretty much the same number of women and men out there in the world. Further it seems that there are roughly the same number of women and men presenting to intensive care units. This pattern does not repeat itself in terms of the Intensive Care doctors.

Let’s talk about this. Let’s listen to the people that are raising awareness about this. The Women in Intensive Care are talking about it and publishing about it too. You may have heard about the Medical Journal of Australia article; “Female representation at Australasian specialty conferences”.

But they have not stopped proving their point. Next there was “Women in Leadership in Intensive Care Medicine” published in Jean-Louis Vincents open access e-journal “ICU Management and Practice” There have been only four presidents of the College of Intensive Care, all male. However the pre-cursor to the College was the Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (JFICM), which was the body that actually created the college. The first leader of JFICM was the one and only Dr Felicity Hawker.

Hopefully soon to be published will be a presentation from the Noosa ANZICS CTG (Australia & New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group) by Dr Naomi Yarwood about the lack of women in the ANZICS CTG studies over the last 20 years.

Next Issue; Training. After competing her Fellowship exams Sarah got involved in the Critical Care Collaborative and went on to found the Victorian Primary Examination Course for CICM (VPECC). Running that is a big job in itself. It’s popular too and the July 2017 edition is already full. Sort of. Importantly the candidate stream is full for 2017 but there is a teaching stream too. Have a look at this if you are an aspiring educationalist; VPPECC Teaching Stream

At the time of our conversation the teaching stream not yet full for 2017. It is on in July. Get in touch with Sarah or the other guys at @VPECC, if not this year maybe next year?

Then she is on the Board of the College of Intensive Care Medicine trying to contribute and trying to gently help the college progress. One example of of her efforts there is the Trainee Symposium recently held at the CICM ASM in Sydney. The symposium was a great success. Another example of her work as the New Fellows Representative is the development of some evidence based guidelines for achieving gender balance at conferences. This overlaps with the work of WIN. Indeed the Trainee Symposium brings together all three of the major areas that we talk about.

I’m exhausted already.

Have a listen. Be inspired. Get involved.

P.S: May I offer an apology to all New Zealanders for all the times I manage to say Australian rather than Australasian or Australia-New Zealand.


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Doug Lynch and a sprinkling of Matt Mac Partlin

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Dr Doug Lynch MA MBBS MPHTM. Critical Carer. Pathological Polymath. Medical Journeyman. Idealist. Feminist. Father. Friend. Melbourne | @TheTopEnd | JellyBeans | Enquiring Minds |

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