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Dr Samantha Pillay is a surgeon, entrepreneur, educator, public speaker, single mother & Amazon No1 Best Selling author.
Image Credit: Simon Stanbury

Don’t call me Mister, call me Doctor! Honorifics or Horrorifics?

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), formed in 1927, has finally passed a resolution to use gender-neutral titles. Surgeons will now be referred to by RACS as Doctor or by academic titles like Professor, breaking the anachronistic title of Mister for surgeons. While the resolution only applies to official RACS communication and policies, allowing male surgeons to still call themselves Mister, it is a hugely significant and symbolic step for the profession. The change to inclusive language reflects the changes in society and conveys gender equality. …


Find out more about WIS

women unicorn

I recall a patient saying with surprise when she met me — “I was expecting a woman with grey hair and a bun”. At least she was expecting a woman. Even after detailed explanations of a surgical procedure I have recommended, many patients have asked, “but who will be performing the surgery?”

WIS, is women in surgery. Less than 12% of surgeons in Australia are female.

There are stereotypes assigned to surgical training and female surgeons, both within the community and by the medical profession. …


The Glass Ceiling Keeping Women out of the Top End of Town.

The last Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) annual activity report, 2019, showed the number of female surgeons in Australia was 12%. In 2002 when I commenced surgical practice, only 4% of Australian and New Zealand surgeons were female, despite 50% of medical graduates being female. The goal for 50% female surgeons in ten years was set but never reached. There is still a long way to go despite 50% female medical graduates for thirty years.

A recent analysis of how long it will take for gender parity to be reached in orthopedic surgery in the United States was released…


Writing was a hobby. I never expected it would make me a better surgeon.

Celebrating the Art of Surgery was the theme for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons annual scientific congress in May 2021. The meeting highlighted the importance of creativity for surgeons.

Having recently taken up writing as a relaxing hobby, I have enjoyed developing new skills, yet I was surprised how my work benefited.

1. Writing Sharpened my Brain

I have been an avid player of brain training games like Sudoku and memory games. Since childhood, my favorite past-time has been studying and learning. …


Why responsible drinking is an oxymoron

Image Credit: Soup_Kitchen

Med Camp, held before the commencement of Year 1 Medical School, was run by the existing medical students. As a 16-year-old, one of three daughters, from an all-girl school, this was my introduction to university life. Alcohol consumption was excessive, and there were many casualties that week, with trainee doctors getting hands-on experience caring for their sick colleagues.

As a university student and young doctor, alcohol consumption revolved around social activities, rather than at home, due to financial constraints and constantly studying for exams. Surgical training meant my life evolved around studying into my thirties. …


The condition, affecting millions, that no-one likes talking about.

Dr Samantha Pillay looks out from a small bridge across the gardens.
Dr Samantha Pillay. Image: Kate Elmes

I will reveal the condition I am referring to, in time. For now, ‘it shall not be named’, as such is the stigma, you will be unlikely to read on.

I will discuss why doctors, media, and patients avoid this topic. Firstly, let’s look the prevalence; so high, its absence from mainstream media is astounding.

Ubiquitous

The Australian Government Institute of Health and Welfare noticeably omits this condition from their list of the 10 major chronic conditions affecting Australians.

If included, it would be No 1!

The UK and USA have recorded similar data.

Let’s take a look at what’s on…


Are you starving your kids from opportunities in life?

Mother and child holding a camelia together with cupped hands.
Credit: Kate Elmes

There are vast savings when we are self-sufficient in the skills we require regularly.

How expensive would it be over a lifetime, to pay someone to help shower and dress you every day when not required, even if you could afford it? Billionaires like Warren Buffett, Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg hold reputations for being famously frugal.

Frugal; careful when using money or food.’ Cambridge Dictionary

Reliance on others costs money. Every time you can’t do something yourself, you spend money on others’ advice, skills or goods.

What #1 skill is more important than a university education?

HOW TO COOK

We have created a society where people can muddle through life without knowing…

Dr Samantha Pillay

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