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PAWAS Newsletter: Update and June/July Monthly Activities

Hey guys! Hope that you are keeping well!
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It is the start of another month. Thank you all for your communication, contributions and ideas regarding mentorship. Hope you managed to engage and interact in the mentorship process whether it involved seeking out a mentor or becoming one. Keep at it! There is much work to be done!  I have attached an interview with Dr Angella Neville who shares her perspectives on mentoring in some excerpts from the AWS, and also an insightful article sent in by Funmi, on challenges and oppurtunities for women in academic oncology practice from the ongoing ASCO 2015 conference in Chicago.
June/July : Building months
This month’s theme is building. This is a word that resonates with me and though it has several proposed origins, the definitions I find particularly pertinent are from  the root *bheue which means  “to be, exist, grow”  and the Old Englishbyldan, a derivative of bold! I find that building  is something we sometimes do reflexively as clinicians. Whether it is building new skills and talents, building relationships with our patients and peers, building confidence in our staff and juniors, building remains a critical part of who we intrinsically are.
We are in the practical process of building our website and I believe it should be reflective of what we would like this forum to do for us, as a group.. .. its an oppurtunity to create a building ‘wish list’ of the features we would like to see! There are several ideas of  what this could entail.
1. We have had an incredible response from surgeons wanting to mentor that it makes sense to build a mentorship platform where one can log, in find a mentor/mentee and exchange ideas. As one may need different mentors at different times, it helps to have a wider spectrum of colleagues one can engage with regardless of speciality.
2. We are also in the process of examining how we can link up with virtual tumour board in different centers. A few on you had mentioned challenges of having oncology/multidisciplinary input when managing patients so we are looking to tap into/develop continental tumour boards every month.We are also developing a closed discussion unit so that can have regular posts regarding information/advice that one may need a little more expediently
These are only a few suggestions. It would be great to hear what other features you would like incorporated and what strategies we can use to engage better on a continental level. Do share your wish list however simple or “out there!’ you may think it is. (innovations and revolutions have always started with decidely ‘wierd’ ideas!) Your ideas count and it would be great to see what we can realize either now or as the group continues to develop. Do send in your suggestions with the handle @build on whattsup or by email.
We are also going to require an editorial team,moving forward to coordinate writing and regular updating of the website and generation of newsletters. It might be a chance to build new skills that may be transferable to other areas like thesis/paper writing. Let me know if you would be interested in this by sending a note with the caption – writer.
It is the hope that with all your input and ideas that we can build a robust communication forum that will be …ahem…coming soon to a theatre near you!! :-))
Have a wonderful month and remember that the single most ‘character building’ events happen when we take the time to invest in and build others.
Be bold and keep building!


Miriam

 

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