Mental Illness, Burnout and Welfare in Surgery

Dr Mary Langcake

Dr Mary Langcake

MD, BSC(Hons; Biology & Immunology)

Director of Trauma at St George Hospital

Dr Lucy Wynter

Dr Lucy Wynter

MBBS, M. Bioethics, FRACP

Nephologist, SMP Wellbeing program designer.

Mental health is a topical issue in medicine, with many students, junior doctors, registrars and consultants experiencing burnout and suffering from mental illness. With suicide within the medical profession attracting the media spotlight in recent years, now is an important time to discuss mental health, how it affects us and what we can do to help ourselves and each other. This is especially true in surgery, with its demanding work hours and tough working conditions. This event is designed to discuss whether mental illness acts as a barrier to entering training programs and becoming a successful clinician.


Dr Mary Langcake is the Director of Trauma at St George Hospital and has been deployed as a military trauma surgeon with the RAAF in Afghanistan. She has a passion for training students and junior doctors and advocates for supporting those of us suffering from burnout and mental illness.


Dr Lucy Wynter is a nephrologist who has designed the Wellbeing Program for the SMP, an initiative to teach students about general wellbeing throughout medical training, destigmatise mental illness and help students of the Sydney Medical Program find help for ourselves and our friends.



Date: Friday 6th of July, 2018
Time: 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Location: New Law School Lecture Theatre 024

Academic Surgery Symposium 2018

Sydney University Surgical Society and RPA Institute of Academic Surgery present… What is an Academic Surgeon?

The event will begin with an introduction to the field of academic surgery presented by Professor Paul Bannon. This discussion will include what it means to be an academic surgeon, an overview of the career pathway, and the balance of research and clinical practice.

Academic surgeons from the IAS will then discuss some of their innovative research projects, as well as any upcoming research opportunities for students looking to get involved.

Following the event please join us for light refreshments outside the Auditorium.

Speakers will include:

Prof Paul Bannon

Prof Paul Bannon

Professor & Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery Surgery, RPA; MMBBS, PhD (Medicine), FRACS

Prof. Bannon holds the Professorial Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery as well as the Bosch Chair of Surgery at the University of Sydney, he is Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and a Co-Chair of the Institute of Academic Surgery. He is the Immediate Past President of The Australian & New Zealand Society of Cardiac & Thoracic Surgeons, and is actively involved in research as both the Chair of The Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical Research and a Co Editor-In-Chief of the Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

A/Prof Sanjay Warrier

A/Prof Sanjay Warrier

A/Prof Academic Surgery Surgery; BSc (Med) MBBS FRACS MS

Dr. Warrier is a Breast Oncology and Oncoplastic Surgeon. In 2013 his work on Hedgehog signaling, in collaboration with Garvan Institute, won the Patron’s Prize at RPAH for best scientific oral presentation. He is the current Chairman of Post-Fellowship Training for BreastSurgANZ and the course co-ordinator for the Breast Surgical Graduate Certificate/Masters at the University of Sydney.

A/Prof Sydney Ch’ng

A/Prof Sydney Ch’ng

Associate Professor of Surgery (MBBS, PhD, FRACS)

Dr. Ch’ng is fully trained in both Plastic Surgery and Head and Neck Surgery. Her interests include facial skin cancers and advanced skin cancers requiring complex reconstruction.

She is the research lead for Plastic Surgery at RPA and has authored numerous scientific papers and book chapters.

Dr Cherry Koh

Dr Cherry Koh


Dr. Koh is a colorectal surgeon with diverse academic interest, including minimally invasive colorectal surgery, transanal resection techniques and pelvic exenteration for advanced pelvic malignancies.

She is the research lead for Colorectal Surgery at the IAS and RPA.


Event Details:

Wednesday 13 June, 6pm
KPEC Auditorium 4.1 Kerry Packer Education Centre, RPA
Please RSVP via our Facebook event

This should be an informative evening for anyone interested in pursuing a career in surgery or even clinical academia generally.

This event is open to students from all clinical schools and stages.

We hope to see you there!

SUSS May Journal Club: Trauma

After a short break, we return with the May SUSS Journal club theme of Trauma. 

Trauma is a common presentation to ED, often requiring surgical intervention. When managing a trauma case one not only needs to consider the immediate management of a patient but also the sequelae or conditions that this patient group is at risk of developing.

Both of the presenters this week will be considering the complications of trauma. Nick Skladnev will present a study on the utility of thromboelastography (TEG) in predicting venous thromboembolism (VTE). VTE including pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis is a common trauma complication and is often unpredictable as traditional plasma-based coagulation tests (PT, PTT, INR) are not predictive of VTE. TEG may present a more sensitive test for identifying at-risk patients.  Huon Murray will then present a case series of head trauma resulting in hypopituitarism, which is an increasingly recognised but easily missed complication following traumatic brain injury (TBI). This paper will identify the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate management of endocrine dysfunction in patients with major head injuries to improve morbidity and mortality.

Articles and presenters:
Nick Skladnev
Brill, J. B., Badiee, J., Zander, A. L., Wallace, J. D., Lewis, P. R., Sise, M. J., … & Shackford, S. R. (2017). The rate of deep vein thrombosis doubles in trauma patients with hypercoagulable thromboelastography. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, 83(3), 413-419.

Huon Murray
Khan, K., Saeed, S., Ramcharan, A., & Gray, S. (2018). A case series of closed head trauma with pituitary stalk disruption resulting in hypopituitarism. International journal of surgery case reports, 43, 69-71.

Date: Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Venue: RPAH Institute of Academic Surgery
Topic: Trauma

RSVP via our Facebook event 

Hope you see you there!


The Great Debate: Physicians vs Surgeons

SUMS and SUSS are proud to be hosting the ultimate medical turf war, pitching six of Sydney’s brightest minds against one another with the hopes of answering medicine’s eternal question: Which specialty is better, surgery or medicine?

More information to follow.


Event Details:
Date: Friday 15th of June, 2018
Time: TBA
Venue: TBA

RSVP at our Facebook Event (TBA)
SUSS & Global Home: Global Surgery Grand Rounds

SUSS & Global Home: Global Surgery Grand Rounds

The Sydney University Surgical Society and Global Home are proud to present their first joint event, the Global Surgery Ground Rounds. This is an opportunity to hear from the inspiring surgeons and aid workers who are at the front lines of war, extreme poverty, natural disasters and humanitarian crisis, to lend their skills to people in desperate need of their help.  

Dr John Swinnen is a vascular surgeon based at Westmead Hospital. Over his 35-year long career as a surgeon, he has had field placements with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Yemen, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Most recently he spent time at Al-Shifa Hospital in Palestine, operating on trauma patients from the conflict in the Gaza strip. Although a vascular surgeon by training, he also performs general orthopaedic and burns-plastic surgery in the field. He will share stories from his career in humanitarian surgery and discuss the challenges of operating in under-resourced hospitals facing adverse circumstances.

We will also hear from Dr Darryl Stellmach, a medical anthropologist who previously worked as an in-field emergency manager with MSF for over a decade. He went on to complete a Doctoral thesis with the University of Oxford, which focused on dealing with large-scale medical and nutritional humanitarian crisis. He is now a Post-doctoral Associate with the University of Sydney, and also works with the public health research group for MSF-UK. He will provide his perspective on humanitarian surgery in terms of the social, moral and practical implications of such work.

This joint event promises to bring an intriguing and engaging event for those with an interest in surgery and humanitarian work. Light refreshments will also be provided on the night.

Event Details:
Date: Tuesday 1st of May, 2018
Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
Venue: New Law School Lecture Theatre 106

RSVP at our Facebook Event