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The Intensivist: April 2018

August 28, 2018



The Intensivist


April Edition

In This Issue

  • WIN-ANZICS, Dr Lucy Modra
  • ANZICS House Update
  • Job Advertisements

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Lucy Modra, Win Co-Convenor


Updates on what WIN stand for, what to expect from the WIN-ANZICS Collaboration and what is in it for Australia and New Zealand. 

In 2018 the Women in Intensive Care Medicine Network joins ANZICS as a committee (WIN-ANZICS).  To mark this important collaboration, this article introduces the Women in Intensive Care Medicine network (WIN).

Why is WIN necessary?
22% of active CICM fellows were women in 2017.[1] The Medical Training and Review Panel reports that between 2010 and 2014 the percentage of female CICM New Fellows fluctuated between 11.1% and 30.8%.[2]

Compare these figures to the pool of graduating medical students and doctors. Women have made up at least half of new medical graduates in Australia and New Zealand for well over a decade.[3] In 2015, 40% of all doctors working in Australia were women.[4]

Some remain hopeful that the gender imbalance in ICM will rectify itself over time, the so-called ‘pipeline effect’.  But consider the following calculations. Based on the rate of the increase in female intensivists working in Australia 2009-2015, it will be 2043 before half of Australian intensivists are women.[5] Performing the same calculation using the CICM fellowship data 2013-2017, gender equality among CICM Fellows will be achieved in 2053.[6]

In short, our pipeline needs fixing.

On the ground, there are few female role models for junior doctors contemplating intensive care medicine as a career, and limited opportunities for female intensivists to network with each other. There is also a paucity of female leaders in our speciality. In 2016, 10.5% of directors of CICM-accredited ICUs were female.[7] At the time of writing, there are two women on the ANZICS Board.

Gender imbalance in the ICM workforce is a problem worldwide, although the proportion of female intensivists in Australia is substantially lower than in both the UK and USA.[8] There have been recent calls for improved representation of women on critical care guideline panels,[9] speaking at conferences[10] and in positions of leadership.

What is WIN?
WIN was established in 2015 by group of Melbourne intensivists and trainees. There are now local networks in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

WIN aims to promote the participation of women in all aspects of Australasian intensive care medicine including clinical, academic and leadership roles.  WIN strives to engage both men and women in improving gender equity in intensive care medicine (ICM).

In the past two years WIN has focussed on networking, advocacy and research:


What’s in it for intensive care medicine in Australia and New Zealand?
Intensive care medicine has a great deal to gain from improved female representation.  We cannot attract the highest quality intensivists by recruiting from only half the pool of doctors.
Increasing the proportion of female intensivists will lead to a workforce that is more representative of, and responsive to, the diverse community of patients we serve. There is increasing evidence across industries that improving gender balance within leadership teams leads to better outcomes.[11],[12],[13] This is likely due to an increased diversity of problems and solutions considered by the leadership team, rather than any purported ‘feminine’ characteristics that women bring to the group.Finally, the changes required to bring about improved gender balance- including greater workplace flexibility and an inclusive, respectful culture- will improve working conditions for male and female intensivists.  This will contribute to a more stable workforce and decrease intensivist burnout- a significant problem in our specialty.[14]

How will the WIN-ANZICS collaboration work?

WIN-ANZICS will be a bi-national committee focussing on advocacy and research.  This will run in parallel with local WIN networks, which focus primarily on networking events.

The committee will have both skills-specific positions and regional representative positions.  During the transition period, current WIN committee members will continue their skills-specific positions to ensure continuity of knowledge and activities. All regional representative positions will be open to nomination and election and these members will help to establish local WIN networks.  After the transition all positions will be open to election.

Expressions of interest for the committee have now closed. 

We look forward to a productive WIN-ANZICS collaboration.


[1] Personal communication from Lisa Davidson, General Manager-Fellowship, CICM.
[2] Commonwealth of Australia Medical Training Review Panel, 2016. 19th Report.
[3] Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand. Annual tables.
[4] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2015. Medical workforce dataset.
[5] AIHW Datasets.
[6] Figures supplied by Lisa Davidson, General Manager, Fellowship, CICM.
[7] Modra LJ, Yong SA, Austin DE. Women in Leadership in Intensive Care Medicine. ICU Management and Practice 2016; 16(3): 174-176.
[8] Modra, Yong, Austin. 2016.
[9] Mehta S, Burns KEA, Machado FR et al 2017. ‘Gender Parity in Critical Care Medicine.’ American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 196(4):425-429.
[10] Metaxa V. Is this (still) a man’s world? Critical Care 2013, 17:112
[11] World Economic Forum. (2016) The Industry Gender Gap: Women and Work in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Geneva.
[12] Vafaei A, Ahmed K and Mather P. (2015) Board Diversity and Financial Performance in the Top 500 Australian Firms, Australian Accounting Review, 25: 413–27.
[13] Amrein K, Langmann A, Fahrleitner-Pammer A, Pieber TR, Zollner-Schwetz I. (2011) Women Underrepresented on Editorial Boards of 60 Major Medical Journals, Gender Medicine, 8 (6): 378-87.
[14] Simpson N and Knott CI. 2017. Stress and burnout in Intensive Care Medicine: An Australian Perspective. Med J of Aust. 206(3) 107-8.

All of the presentations from the 2017 ANZICS/ACCCN Intensive Care ASM & 2017 ANZICS Safety & Quality Conference are now available on the ANZICS YouTube Channel HERE

ANZICS House Update

ANZICS House, located at 10 Ievers Terrace in Carlton, Victoria was purchased in 2003 after shifting from our previous home within a small terraced residence on Rathdowne Street, Carlton.  This was undertaken largely to expand the physical resources of the Society and this allowed co-location with the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses.

Fourteen years later, the property has more than served its purpose, both as an asset and as a home for the Society. The ANZICS Executive proposed the sale of the current building at the 2017 Annual General Meeting held on the Gold Coast. The decision to sell ANZICS House was largely driven by construction of a significant adjacent commercial development, ever-increasing maintenance costs and capitalising on the value of this asset before external factors further diminish the market value of the site (e.g. via loss of access to the site due to adjacent building works, Melbourne Metro rail tunnel works and other local factors). Subsequent to the AGM and with the support of the membership at the meeting, the building went to auction on Friday 9th March 2017. After a spirited public auction, the property was sold to an international consortium at a price of $3.37 million (exceeding the reserve price set by the Board). ANZICS staff are now looking forward to relocating to premises that will better support our members and allow staff to exclusively focus on the outputs of the society.

We are pleased to note that the financial return on the investment of these funds is anticipated to cover future leasing costs and outgoings, whilst leaving other society funds to directly support activities focused on the membership. All involved are very excited with this result and we are looking forward to the next steps for ANZICS.

Don’t miss out on the latest information from the Society and update your details

Each year ANZICS holds the Intensive Care Global Rising Star Program with the support of Pfizer, to encourage and support innovative and productive early to mid-career clinician/scientists from 3 international regions. Applications for the program are now open! If you know of anyone that may be interested, please direct them HERE



Please contact the ANZICS Office if you would like to submit an article for a future version of The Intensivist.

Phone: +61 3 9340 3400

Upcoming ANZICS Educational Events

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