AFRM eBulletin – 14 June 2023

A message from Your President

This month I am handing over the President's Message to Richard Seeman, AFRM President-elect and Chair of the AFRM Policy and Advocacy Committee (FPAC). Richard recently wrote a piece on the ROC about the AFRM Bariatric Rehabilitation Position Statement launch (and if you weren't there you missed one of the best acronyms for a project I've ever heard – you'll need to listen to the recording of the meeting to find out what it was). He also wrote about the current and potential future work of FPAC. I know many members may have missed that piece, and I think it is worth repeating here in this message in order to highlight the important work of FPAC. So here is Richard's piece from the ROC:

"The day before the FPAC meeting, I chaired a webinar for the launch of FPAC's most recent project, the Bariatric Rehabilitation Position Statement. Over 60 people attended, and the expert panel had plenty of interesting questions to answer from them. The group writing this has done a huge amount of work to bring this important piece of advocacy into the public arena, and I encourage you to check the statement out:

The Faculty Policy and Advocacy Committee (FPAC) is going through a renewal phase at present, after a number of resignations and completions of terms. The first face-to-face FPAC meeting this year was held last week at RACP Headquarters in Sydney, with good attendance.

At present, there is only one vacancy left on the committee – we are looking for someone from NSW/ACT to join our group. Please let me know if you have an interest in AFRM policy issues or in assisting us to advocate for hot topics like climate change.

A major item of discussion at FPAC last week was the drafting of the Binational Rehabilitation Strategy, a joint project between AFRM, RMSANZ and AROC. Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for the working party will be out shortly – keep an eye on the ROC or the AFRM eBulletin for those.

We carried out an exercise in 'horizon scanning' and discussed a number of issues that we think AFRM should have a stance on over the next few years.

WHO has announced plans for improving rehabilitation services worldwide with the Rehabilitation 2030 initiative.

We talked about climate change and the increased risk of climate disasters. We propose to put out statements on this from time-to-time to push for disaster plans and improved support for persons living with disability affected by floods, bushfires and other events.

Our group thinks that AFRM still has a way to go in addressing equity issues for women, the LGBTQI+ community and for Indigenous groups. We will work to provide input to the AFRM Council where we see problems.

A Queensland colleague, Susan Graham, who was on the RACP COVID expert reference group, kindly joined us remotely to lead a discussion on rehabilitation and COVID. Funding for three expert groups reporting to the Federal Government will cease in June, in response to the recent WHO declaration of the end of the global COVID emergency. FPAC also has concerns about ongoing funding for increased demands on rehabilitation services caused by COVID. We plan to produce a public statement shortly, advocating for funding of Long COVID services (in whatever form they might take) with Government.

Overall, a very successful couple of days at FPAC and AFRM, and I look forward to your comments on the ROC, or directly to me, in response to the themes discussed above, or to other issues you would like to see FPAC address."

Dr Jennifer Mann
AFRM President

Rehab in Review Journal

Rehab in Review is a surveillance journal of the literature most important to the practice of physical medicine and rehabilitation. The editors of this publication generously provide this publication to the Faculty and all its members at no cost. View the Rehab in Review May 2023 edition.

Note: The password on the RACP log in page has been updated, so please check the website.

Applications for the RACP 2024 Foundation Research Awards – now open

Don’t miss your chance to apply for funding under the following award categories:

Offered across all three categories are the RACP MAIC Research Awards funded by the Queensland Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) to support research into medical conditions and rehabilitation related to motor vehicle accidents.

Applications for Research Development Grants and Travel Grants will open on Saturday, 1 July 2023.

These include the following Faculty Awards:

  • AFRM Research Development Fellowship $10,000
  • AFRM Bruce Ford Travelling Fellowship $10,000

Fellows and trainees across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand are eligible to apply for most awards. Please refer to the RACP Foundation webpage for information on specific eligibility requirements for each award.

RACP Trainee Research Awards – opening soon

Applications for the RACP Trainee Research Awards will be open from Saturday, 1 July to Thursday, 31 August 2023. Trainees and New Fellows undertaking post-Fellowship training with the RACP are encouraged to apply.

The Trainee Research Awards (TRA) provide a valuable opportunity for trainees to present their research at an Australian regional or Aotearoa New Zealand event. The best presenters from each local event are invited present their work alongside recognised researchers at an RACP event in 2024.

Faculty trainees are encouraged to apply. Please see the website for further details and eligibility criteria.

College Medals and Awards – opening soon

Nominations will open shortly for the following College and Fellowship Awards. They acknowledge outstanding contributions and achievements made by Fellows and trainees in their respective fields. Consider nominating a colleague, mentor, or trainee deserving of recognition.

  • The John Sands Medal recognises a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to the welfare of RACP and its members.
  • The College Medal is aligned to the College motto hominum servire saluti. It is awarded to a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to medical specialist practice, healthcare and/or health of community through physician activities.
  • RACP International Medal recognises a member who has provided outstanding service in developing countries.
  • RACP Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas recognises a Fellow who has provided outstanding clinical service in rural and remote areas of Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • RACP Mentor of the Year Award recognises a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to mentoring or provided a high level of support and guidance throughout training.
  • RACP Trainee of the Year Award recognises a trainee who has made an outstanding contribution to College, community and trainee activities.
  • The Eric Susman Prize is awarded by the College to a Fellow for best contribution to the knowledge of internal medicine.

Full details are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

NSW Lecture Series & Bi National Training Program (BNTP) – 2023 timetable

The NSW Lecture Series & Bi National Training Program lectures will proceed as scheduled between February and November 2023. Trainees can join via videoconference.

Please register for the lectures. Visit RACP events for more information.

Save the Date: Trainee Research Awards Symposium

The 2022 trainee award recipients will present their research at a free hybrid event on Friday, 18 August 2023 in the RACP Sydney office at 145 Macquarie St. Refreshments will be provided. Trainees are encouraged to attend! More details to come.

Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand 6th Annual Scientific Meeting (RMSANZ 2023)

Date: Sunday, 10 to Wednesday, 13 September 2023
Location: Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
More information can be found on the ROC.

Pomegranate Health podcast

Picture66Ep94: Facing up to racial bias

In this episode, we try and understand the impact that racial bias makes on variation in clinical care. For example, racialized patterns in the use of analgesia were brought to light over 20 years ago but are still occurring today. In research from the UK published in March, it was found that women of African or South Asian extraction were significantly less likely to receive an epidural during vaginal birth, or instrumental assistance with the delivery. The direct reasons for this variation were not revealed by the study and could simply reflect the preferences of different cultural groups. But if that’s the case, it behoves us to address gaps in health education in a culturally sensitive way.

This podcast highlights the subtle drivers of racialized disparity at different layers of service delivery. At an individual level implicit bias can affect clinical decision-making. At an institutional level there may be known resourcing issues not being addressed, like availability of translators to help diverse patients understand what they’re consenting to. And all this takes place within the context of structural racism, the inequity that was long ago baked into society’s power structures. That’s particularly true in colonised countries like ours, so we also ask what it means to “decolonise” medicine.


  • Wendy Edmonson PhD (Cultural Advisor, RACP)
  • Dr Kudzai Kanhutu FRACP GAICD MPH (Dean, RACP; Deputy Chief Information Office, Royal Melbourne Hospital)

Please visit the Pomegranate Health web page for a transcript and supporting references. Login to MyCPD to record listening reading as a prefilled learning activity. Subscribe to new episode email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, or any podcasting app.

PBS Authorities launches podcast

Services Australia has started a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) podcast which identifies trending topics. The first episode includes insights from Rachel Macaulay (Services Australia) and Christopher Deane (Department of Health and Aged Care) who explain why some PBS medicines require authority and discuss the future of electronic PBS Authorities.

Listen now

Save the date: The 37th World Congress of Internal Medicine 2024

pic 2

The 37th World Congress of Internal Medicine 2024 (WCIM 2024) will take place at the Prague Congress Centre in the Czech Republic from 30 October to 2 November 2024. The Congress will feature keynote speakers from around the world who will share their knowledge and experience of clinical challenges and case studies, as well as guidelines and developments across the spectrum of internal medicine. It will provide a great opportunity to network and learn more about the experience of practising internal medicine which remains the cornerstone of every national healthcare system.


Digital competencies for the next generation of physicians

This engaging webinar will cover what the future of digital health entails, and where technology is leading the national health system.

Join members of the RACP’s Digital Health Advisory Group to find out what the College is doing to meet these exciting and evolving technological trends. Plus, listen as experts discuss digital competencies for the next generation of physicians, as well as the challenges of integrating digital health into the training curricula.

Date and time: Wednesday, 26 July 2023 from 5pm to 6.15pm (AEST)

Register to attend


Have you completed your 'my work profile'?

By completing your ‘my work profile’ you will provide us with valuable insights which we can use to make evidence-based and informed advocacy decisions for improving workforce planning. All you need to do is log in to My RACP, click ‘update my work profile’ and answer a few questions about your work activities.

Complete ‘my work profile’


The new ROC (RACP Online Community) Homepage is live

We are excited to announce that the new ROC Homepage has gone live and is now ready to view. The new ROC Homepage is more intuitive and easier to navigate and includes a range of new features for you to explore.

The new Homepage also includes a link to our ‘ROC Tips’ - which features detailed information about how to access, navigate and utilise the ROC. Our ROC tips are frequently updated to ensure that you have all of the information you need in one single location.

Log in to the ROC and explore today.

The Member Advantage EOFY sale is on!


This June, save on all your tax-time purchases with Member Advantage. Log in to discover new savings, discounts, and prizes every week including a Weber BBQ, sponsored by The Good Guys Commercial.

Available online, 24/7. That's your Member Advantage. *Terms & Conditions apply.

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Career Opportunities

View all positions vacant

Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ)
RMSANZ is the professional body for rehabilitation physicians and trainees in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC)
The Australasian Rehabilitation Outcomes Centre (AROC) is the national rehabilitation medicine clinical registry of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

    AFRM contact details

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    AFRM education and training enquiries
    Education Officer
    Phone: +61 8247 6233 

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    Ella Campbell
    Examination Coordinator
    Phone: +61 2 9256 9659

    AFRM training site accreditation enquiries
    Sophia Komarkowski
    Education Officer
    Phone: 1300 MYRACP (1300 697 227)

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