January 27, 2022

Dr Chiu Kang: Delivering surgical education to junior medical staff

Dr Kang started his career at Northern Health as a medical student back in 2006 and, after graduation, returned as an intern. Now, he is the new Surgical Education Consultant who will be helping junior doctors progress in their careers.

“I’ve actually been here most of my career. It is my absolute pleasure to join the vibrant team at Northern Health, taking on the new and exciting role of Surgical Education Consultant. I am a Bariatric, UGI and general surgeon who completed all my pre-fellowship training with Northern Health and, before that, a medical student graduating from Austin/Northern Clinical School, University of Melbourne. My passion for medical education was first ignited after taking my first group of clinical students for bedside tutorials while being heavily influenced by my own experience as a trainee,” he explained.

His role includes looking after surgical education needs for anyone from intern to registrar level.

“As Surgical Education Consultant, I will be joining a team of enthusiastic and skilled educators from the Medical Education Unit and Department of Surgery entrusted with the responsibility of planning, implementation and delivery of surgical education to all junior medical staff. Practically, this will include organising rostered educational sessions, practical workshops and tutorials, while providing supervision, mentorship and career advice to those who are interested in a career in surgery. I will be liaising with different surgical units to best aid for the career development of our junior medical staff. This is a position that can really change things around,” he explained.

In his own transition from an intern to registrar, he noticed a gap in the formal transition process. Now, he is planning to change that and is working on establishing new education sessions, providing junior staff a more formalised process to move into registrar roles.

The ‘Transition to Registrar Practice’ sessions will be aimed at senior surgical HMOs who are ready to step up to a registrar role or junior registrars who are still finding their feet in their new role.

“This will consist of small group tutorials and lectures during monthly theatre educational days. Sessions will include topics like: How do you assess a patient? What are some of the important conditions you must know of? At what point do you know you have reached your limits and that you have to escalate to a senior? How to manage a night shift when you are the most senior surgical doctor on site? and similar,” he explained.

Dr Kang has seen Northern Health develop and change over the years he has been working here.

“I grew up here! To me, Northern is a hospital that has always experienced a lot of challenges in the forefront. It was an expanding population area ten years ago – the demand for the hospital services exploded exponentially, then COVID-19 came, where we had high case numbers in the north. Despite the challenges, it has always been a workplace that has innovated and had a strong foresight into what is required in the future,” he said.

“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 will once again be a challenging year for surgical education at Northern Health. It is our duty as educators to provide comprehensive training and support to our junior doctors under these circumstances,” Dr Kang concluded.