Pot-pourri eBulletin - 2 June 2023

A message from your President

Professor Nitin Kapur

On Tuesday, 2 May 2023 I met with Michael Berkman MP, Greens Member for Maiwar, to advocate for the RACP’s campaign to raise the age of criminal responsibility. The Chair and representatives from the Queensland Regional Committee also participated in this meeting and gave an update on the College’s work on climate change and health.

PCHD Group Photo June 2023

Photo featuring: Professor Nitin Kapur, Dr Siddharth Sharma (RACP Committee Climate Change Lead), Tracey Handley (RACP Senior Executive Officer, Queensland), Michael Berkman MP, Emerald Moon (Greens Community Campaigner), and Professor Brian Wood (Chair RACP Queensland Regional Committee and President-Elect of the RACP Adult Medicine Division).

In this meeting, Michael Berkman expressed his appreciation for the College’s support for his bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14. We conveyed to Michael Berkman that raising the age is a major College advocacy priority, and we agreed to continue to advocate for this important child health reform. However, we expressed disappointment that the Queensland Government opposed the bill in parliament, but we are optimistic that progress could still be made at the upcoming meeting of the Standing Council of Attorneys-General which has been the subject of strong public advocacy (see here and here) by the College. Michael Berkman emphasised the value of paediatricians having a strong voice on this issue, whom he said the public trusts to put children’s interests first.

I have now attended and supported the Queensland Regional Committee in meetings with all Queensland major political parties. This was to outline the medical evidence that informs the College’s position, to explain the harms of incarcerating young children, and to highlight that a very low age of criminal responsibility disproportionately harms the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

In last month’s Pot-pourri I spoke about conversations within the College and with members regarding Australia’s growing problem of paediatrician shortages, particularly those specialising in development and behaviour. On Wednesday, 17 May 2023 I virtually attended the Western Australian Parliamentary Inquiry in Child Development Services to speak on this topic as the RACP Representative. RACP President, Dr Jacqueline Small, also spoke to the ABC news on this important issue.

In the spirit of engaging with our international colleagues, I attended a meeting of the International Pediatric Association (IPA) Standing Committee held in Athens over two days in May. It was a whirlwind trip, but well worthwhile to ensure that Australia’s interests, and those of the Asia-Pacific region, remain on the table and that we are keeping abreast of any shared challenges and/or opportunities.

Lastly, I want to wish the very best of luck to all candidates sitting their clinical exams over the next couple of weeks, and to offer our appreciation for all the hard work it took to make it this far despite the many challenges along the way.

Best wishes,

Professor Nitin Kapur
PCHD President

RACP Foundation grants, medals, prizes and awards

PCHD trainees and Fellows are eligible to apply for most awards. Visit the RACP Foundation webpage to see the eligibility criteria for each award and to access the online application form.

RACP Foundation Research Awards

Applications for the RACP Foundation Research Awards for 2024 are now open across these categories:

Applications for research development grants and travel grants will open Saturday, 1 July 2023.

Other awards and grants

  • International Grants are available to medical graduates or specialists from outside Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand who intend to further their knowledge in fields of medical education and research. 
  • Paediatrics International Grant – Asia Pacific Region enable the successful recipient to use the grant to cover fares, accommodation and project or study costs. Valued up to A$15,000. Closing on 30 June 2023.
  • RACP Trainee Research Awards (TRA) – applications are open from 1 July to 31 August 2023. The TRA provide an opportunity for trainees and New Fellows to present their research at local regional events. The best presenters from each local event are invited to present their work alongside recognised researchers in 2024.
    • Please save the date for the TRA Symposium on Friday, 18 August 2023. 2022 award recipients will present their research at a hybrid event held at the RACP Sydney office.

College medals and awards

Nominations will open soon for the following College awards and medals. These awards and medals acknowledge outstanding contributions and achievements made by members in their respective fields. Consider nominating a colleague, a mentor, or a 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.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

JPCHThe Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health publishes original research articles of scientific excellence in paediatrics and child health. The latest edition is now live and available to view online.

Articles in this edition include:

  • Bronchial tree‐shaped mucus plugs caused by COVID‐19
  • World Health Organization's global oral health status report: Paediatric dentistry in the spotlight
  • Outcomes of lowered newborn screening thresholds for congenital hypothyroidism.

Read the journal

Pomegranate Health podcast - Ep94: Facing up to racial bias


Ep94: 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 time spent listening and reading supporting materials. 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 exciting future of electronic PBS Authorities.

Listen now

Eventsair banner Digital Competencies Webinar v2 copy

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

WCIM 2024 banner

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

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.

Read more


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 ROC homepage is getting a new look


We are excited to announce that we will be launching a new-look homepage on Monday, 5 June 2023. The new ROC homepage will be more intuitive and easier to navigate and will include a range of new features for you to explore.

The new homepage will also include 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 into the ROC

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.

Australian member access    Aotearoa New Zealand member access

Career opportunities 


Paediatricians: North West Private Hospital, Brisbane | Closing date: 14 July 2023

New South Wales

Private practice: General Paediatrician, Port Macquarie | Closing: Tuesday, 1 August 2023

Western Australia

Paediatric Medicine - Service - Registrar, Albany | Closing: Monday, 3 July 2023

Paediatric Medicine - Service - Registrar, Geraldton | Closing: Monday, 3 July 2023

View all career opportunities on the RACP website.

Pot-pourri submissions welcome

To submit an article for publishing in Pot-pourri, please email paed@racp.edu.au. The article should be no more than 350 words. If you would like to submit an image with your article, it would be assumed that you have received appropriate permission to use the photo and it needs to be of high resolution, above 300 dpi. Please note that articles may need to be edited by the RACP Communications Team.

Update your details with the College

Did you know that you can update your address details online? Simply log into MyRACP and go to 'Edit my details'.

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