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Surgeons are human too: College of Surgeons head

For immediate release: 21 November 2006

Surgeons are human too, says College of Surgeons head

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, (RACS), agrees with psychologist Dr Lois Surgenor that medicine could be "extremely demanding both emotionally and physically and have set up their own support network to address the problem.

Dr Surgenor, who said that senior doctors were at particular risk, was quoted in Tuesday’s edition of the Press.

New Zealand Chair of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Cathy Ferguson said that although Dr Whiteside's description of surgeons as "tough guys with knives" sounded more like a line from Nip and Tuck than an accurate description of her colleagues and herself, the issue was a serious one.

“ We take a great pride in our work and many surgeons are concerned to the point of significant stress when problems develop during or after an operation,” she says.

“To assist surgeons with stress of this and other sorts, the college has set up a support group to help surgeons deal with the stress or to advise them about professional help.

“We aim to help our fellows deal with the stress and hence give a better service to their patients,” she says.


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