Forum engages New Fellows and Advanced Trainees

Date published:
29 Jan 2019

New Fellows and later stage Advanced Trainees gathered at the RACP Victorian Office, remotely and in person, to attend a New Fellows and Advanced Trainee Forum on Saturday, 24 November 2018. 

Hosted by Dr Davina Buntsma, Co-Chair of the RACP Victorian Tasmanian Trainee Committee, the event covered a range of topics such as finance, privacy, wellbeing and research.  

Morning session highlights
Professor Graeme Maguire, Head of General Internal Medicine at Western Health and a Professorial Fellow with the University of Melbourne’s Western Clinical School, delivered an insightful presentation on his experience while completing his PhD. He offered advice, tips, and tricks that worked for him and provided some pointers for those who may have been considering embarking on a similar journey to complete a PhD.  

Cardiologist, Dr Geoff Toogood – a beyondblue Ambassador and passionate advocate for the mental health of doctors and health workers – spoke candidly about physician wellbeing and provided attendees with a very thought provoking account of his experience. Dr Toogood, the founder of crazysocks4docs and the International Awareness Day for Doctors’ Mental Health, encouraged attendees to think about wellbeing for themselves and their colleagues.

Professor Robert Moulds then drew on his own experience to share information about overseas opportunities for physicians, in particular the opportunities available in and around the South Pacific region. He spoke about opportunities available in clinical teaching and training, research, and public health. He also provided handy dos and don’ts for those who may be interested in working in the region.

Pre-Lunch Session
A very informative presentation, by Mr Martin Botros from event co-sponsor Avant Mutual, focused on privacy for physicians including common types of privacy claims, the Privacy Act, minimising risks, policies and procedures, documentation and record keeping. Mr Botros also spoke about what to do if a claim is made against you.

William Buck presenters Mr Zeb Ashton and Ms Sarah Blake presented 'Finance for Physicians'. Mr Ashton spoke about wealth accumulation and planning for the future. Ms Blake discussed protection through personal insurance and making the most of superannuation.

Mr Mark Amott presented on setting up private practice as a business owner. He covered topics such as assessing needs, limitations, discipline around non-clinical activities, and the importance of maintaining links with hospitals

The final presentation before the lunch break was by RACP Victorian/Tasmanian Senior Executive Officer Mr Aaron Thompson. He spoke about transition to Fellowship and shared useful resources.

Afternoon Session
The afternoon was spent focusing on wellbeing, mental health and self-care. Dr Dov Degen provided a thought provoking recount of his personal experience as an Advanced Trainee and Director of Physician Education.

The event came to an end with an extended workshop on developing self-awareness. Presented by Ms Elva Zhang, from the Peace Lab organisation, the workshop combined ancient eastern teachings and contemporary western science theories, to use as a guide for wellbeing and positive change.

Thank you

Avant Mutual and William Buck sponsored the event and we thank them for their continued generosity and willingness to support physicians professionally. 

The RACP would also like to thank all other presenters for the time and energy they put into making the event informative and successful.

We have received some positive feedback from attendees.

“There was a good mix of topics relevant to new Fellows and Advanced trainees, as well as a focus on the crucial issue of physician mental health." – Dr Krishna James.

“It was a highly informative day, with topics very relevant to doctors who have just completed, or are nearing the end of Advanced Training. It provided insights into a transition period of our careers where there can be great uncertainty with what to do next. It was particularly relevant to focus of mental health and personal wellbeing, which can be challenging for physicians as individuals.” – Dr Justin Chua.

There was something for everyone, ranging from PhD pathways, international work, managing finances, private practice, and maintaining well-being.  I walked away enriched from hearing inspiring and authentic colleagues share their personal experiences of navigating their training and early years as a Fellow.” Dr Davina Buntsma.

Visit the RACP on YouTube to watch all the presentations.

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