Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine

Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine

The Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) is a Faculty of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). It provides training and continuing education for Public Health Medicine Fellows and trainees.

AFPHM is committed to achieving a high standard of population health in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Along with providing education and training in public health medicine, AFPHM supports public health medicine research and development, advocates for the highest standard of population health and promotes public debate on matters that affect the health of the community. Learn more about our mission and vision by reading the Statement of Purpose (PDF).

AFPHM recognises the unique position of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Māori in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand's culture and history. We are committed to seeking equity in the partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia and Māori of Aotearoa New Zealand in ways that recognise their distinctive cultural and legal rights and the different social and administrative contexts within which they live, including in Aotearoa New Zealand the specific guarantees of the Treaty of Waitangi.

About Public Health Medicine

Public health medicine is a medical specialty primarily concerned with the health and care of populations. Physicians interested in public health medicine train in both clinical medicine and public health.

The work of a public health physician includes:

  • health and care of populations
  • health promotion
  • prevention of disease and illness
  • assessment of a community's health needs
  • provision of health services to communities and smaller population groups
  • public health research.

Advanced Training program

AFPHM runs the Public Health Medicine Advanced Training Program in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

AFPHM runs monthly public health webinars – open to trainees, Fellows and the public. The webinars are recorded and past presentations can be found on the RACP YouTube channel. For information on upcoming webinars, check the latest AFPHM eBulletin, or search RACP Events (filter 'Public Health Medicine').

Protecting, promoting and improving health for the whole community

The AFPHM have developed a publication entitled Public Health Physicians: Protecting, Promoting and Improving Health for the Whole Community (PDF).

This publication articulates the value of public health physicians, credentialled as Fellows of the AFPHM, to the contemporary public health workforce and their capacity to contribute to the broader health system.

It's intended to inform health system decision makers in their strategic and workforce planning by describing the skills, expertise and roles of public health physicians. It highlights that public health physicians ensure effective leadership, advocacy and better health outcomes by stating that:

  • public health physicians are medical specialists with a duty of care for populations rather than individuals
  • public health physicians are trained to solve complex health problems and make sound evidence-based decisions at a systems-level
  • public health physicians are trained to lead complex change management including health promotion and disease prevention, systems reform, strategic planning, and performance monitoring required to meet heath needs
  • public health physicians lead policy reforms and interventions to transform population health in ways that are evidence-based and cost-effective
  • protection of public health is a key role of government and public health physicians work across government portfolios

The publication clearly outlines the broad range of training, expertise and impact of public health physicians, including their unique skills in:

  • leading, collaborating and finding solutions for complex population health challenges
  • supporting populations and health systems
  • integrating medical and public health expertise
  • creating and leading evidence-based health systems and public health interventions
  • ensuring equity in health policies
  • statutory health protection and disease prevention

AFPHM members are encouraged to promote and circulate the document to their networks and within their workplaces.

The role of public health physicians

12 August 2021 | Fellows and trainees share the experience, expertise, and qualities required for work in public health medicine.


Resources

Indigenous health and public health medicine

Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin | Significant dates for cultural events 2022

Wise Practice collection | ANZSOG

NAIDOC Week 2021 Reading List (PDF) | Lowitja Institute

Amplifying Indigenous voice and curriculum within the public health academy – the emergence of Indigenous sovereign leadership in public health education (PDF) | Higher Education Research & Development

Cultural Safety in Vocational Medical Training | Te Ohu Rata O Aotearoa (Māori Medical Practitioners Association)

First Nations Cultural Safety Framework (PDF) | Australian Evaluation Society

Readings | Working With Indigenous Australians

Public Health Action to Address Whiteness: A Curated List (PDF) | National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health

Latest news

Visit the ROC (RACP Online Community) for the latest news and information on public health medicine and the Faculty. Download the app or login via MyRACP.

For news across the College check the RACP news page.

Get involved

You can get involved in the Faculty and connect with other AFPHM Fellows and trainees in a number of ways.

AFPHM committees | Check the Expressions of Interest page for vacant committee positions and apply.

AFPHM advocacy activities | Contribute to the RACP's policy and advocacy work on a variety of topics.

AFPHM events | Attend events and connect with AFPHM Fellows and trainees.

Governance

The AFPHM is governed by the AFPHM Council. The current President of the AFPHM is Professor Jeanette Ward.

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