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Two RCOG Vice Presidents reflect on the 2024 National Trainees Conference

25 Jun 2024

In this blog two RCOG Vice Presidents, Laura Hipple and Ian Scudamore, share their personal reflections from the 2024 RCOG National Trainees Conference. 

Laura Hipple, Vice President for Membership and Workforce, shares:

“I was delighted to be able to attend this year's National Trainees Conference down in Brighton with my VP colleague Ian Scudamore. The whole event had a real "buzz" to it - the sunshine, seafront location and social event on the pier were an extra bonus!

“All the sessions I attended were relevant and interesting - starting with some sobering statistics on maternal morbidity globally (maternal death nearly every 2 minutes in 2020) with conflict doubling these risks for women. I am glad we are a global College working to try and improve care for women and girls throughout the world, not just in the UK.

“There were a large number of excellent posters and I took pictures of several so I could take some of the ideas away with me. Likewise the oral presentation session I attended included some impressive medical student as well as trainee presentations. 

“Please signpost any interested medical students or Foundation doctors you work with to our careers pages and, for those of you at ST7 and about to start their first Consultant posts, bookings are now open for our #NEXTSTAGE webinar on the evening of Wednesday 10 July.

“Wellbeing of our workforce is vital and it was good to hear about the work being done by "You OK Doc" and also from a consultant who had lived experience of burnout, successfully returned to work after this and the lessons he had taken from it. We are continually reviewing the resources on our own wellbeing hub - recently updated with links to many useful resources including our recently revised return to work toolkit, workforce behaviour toolkit and links to other useful wellbeing resources available to medical staff. Please take a look to familiarise yourself with the resources on there, either for yourself or a colleague who might benefit.

“Finally, many thanks again to the conference organisers, sponsors and staff supporting this year's successful NTC event - it was wonderful to have the chance to meet so many of you - and if anyone has signed up for the ‘You OK, Doc? 3 Peaks Challenge’, I might see you again in August!”


Ian Scudamore, Vice President for Education, shared his highlights:

“It was a privilege and a really useful learning experience to attend the NTC Conference in Brighton. The turnout and energy amongst the highly motivated young doctors who attended was very reassuring for the future of our specialty.  

“Highlights for me included:

  • The very humbling presentations and extraordinary experiences of Pippa Letchworth and Ben Black about challenges to the health of Women and Girls in hostile and conflict environments.  The issues they described highlighted that while our concerns with ‘first world problems’ are real we are very lucky given the awful circumstances of those less fortunate. Their work and commitment is amazing.
  • The importance of women's voices illustrated by the very personal presentation from Jane Plumb and the Learning From Adverse Events session.
  • The discussion about the difficulties in surgical training in obstetrics and gynaecology, which emphasised the importance of the strategic project that the RCOG is undertaking led jointly by our President Ranee Thakar and me together with two Fellows, Hannah Pierce and Naomi Harvey, trainees who are both well known to many of you. It is very important that we develop a proper strategy to ensure that we train our specialists of the future (you) to provide the surgical services required in both obstetrics and gynaecology for now and the long-term.
  • The importance of looking after yourself, to ensure personal wellbeing and a suitable work/life balance but also the need to understand and plan personal finances as illustrated by the parallel breakout sessions and the talk from Tommy Perkins and Ed Cantelo from Medics Money.

“The RCOG is your College, as registered Trainees before and after you have achieved the Membership of the College and then in the longer term as Fellows. The RCOG represents you as professionals and is the face of the specialty to Government, the GMC and the public. The College is not a Union and is only funded by subscriptions and College activities. The RCOG can only exert influence with your support and the incredible voluntary contributions made by very many people, not all of whom are Fellows, Members and Associates.

“Personally, I was encouraged by the engagement of all the Trainees that attended the conference and am confident that with your support the RCOG can continue to exert influence for the benefit of the specialty of obstetrics and gynaecology and all those who we aim to provide the highest possible standard of care for.”



  • The O&G workforce is made up of doctors with a range of diverse experiences. In the following video, we spoke with doctors in different roles, working in different locations, about why they chose to work in O&G.
  • Careers and workforce
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Gynaecology