AChSHM Committee Communiqué November 2015

Read the highlights of key issues discussed as part of the 04-2015 meeting, held on 25 November 2015.


College Election Cycle

The College has commenced the biennial election process for peak College Committees including the AChSHM Committee. With several Committee members approaching the end of their third consecutive terms and with the handover of presidency, there are a number of vacant positions including President-elect of the Chapter, Committee members and an advanced trainee representative. The Callfor nominations will remain open until close of business Monday 1 February 2016.

College Council Report

Prof Basil Donovan attended the AChSHM Committee meeting as an invited guest and provided a brief report on the first meeting of the College Council which he had attended as the AChSHM representative. The Council resolved its Terms of Reference, is looking to build engagement with regional branches of the College, discussed Governance reform and also the idea of one qualification for all specialties. A/Prof
Alasdair McDonald was elected as Chair of the Council. The Council will operate in an advisory capacity to make recommendations to the Board for a 12 month trial period. The Council will meet twice a year but may hold extra meetings at the request of the Board.

Education and training

Exit Assessment

All six trainees that undertook the exit assessment in November successfully passed during the initial or
supplementary examinations. Congratulations to these trainees and thanks to all involved in the organisation of the exams.

Penelope Lowe Trainee Breakfast

The Advanced Training Committee met on 13 November and discussed the Penelope Lowe Trainee Breakfast. There were only two presentations in 2015 and consideration will be given to mandating a case presentation for trainees in future. Given the proximity of the 2015 Penelope Lowe Trainee Breakfast to the 2016 Trainees’ Day, it was decided that the Penelope Lowe Breakfast would form a regular part of the ASM from 2017 onwards.

Changes to Training Requirements

The Training Committee is working towards the following for implementation in 2017:
  • Mandatory mentors for each trainee
  • An exit questionnaire for trainees at the end of each post at a training site, to feed into site accreditation reviews
  • Compulsory reproductive health and HIV logbooks
  • Removal of the formal requirement for biostatistics  

Curriculum Review

The curriculum review is continuing, but implementation will still be approximately 4-5 years away. The level of detail from the current 2008 curriculum to the new one will be simplified. The current curriculum will undergo review in the short term this year.

Policy and advocacy

Indigenous Sexual Health Strategy

In October, the College Policy & Advocacy Committee (CPAC) discussed the issue of STIs amongst young Indigenous people in light of the 2015 RACP Congress presentation by A/Prof James Ward and the syphilis outbreak in remote communities. CPAC has formally requested that the Chapter lead work in this area, in collaboration with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Committee (ATSIHC) and other relevant state committees. A working party will be established to develop a College position and advocacy strategy a round Indigenous sexual health.

Medicare Item Numbers

After many years of hard work, the Department of Health has indicated that new Medicare item numbers for Sexual Health Medicine Specialist consultations are planned to be introduced in November 2016. We await further detail from the Department of Health on this announcement.


The Committee has contributed excellent input recently towards the AChSHM EVOLVE initiative which is being collated by College staff. Once completed, the final details will be considered for the list of 5 low-value clinical practices.


ASHA Report

Planning is underway for the ASHA 2016 conference. A large number of ASHA collaborators have been involved in sexualty education, with a focus on improving the quality and quantity of education in schools and the community so that it is more engaging, informative and well-balanced. There was also a need for an increased role of sexual health in the community to work with groups around domestic violence, with more training and prevention in this area.

AChSHM Annual Scientific Meeting

The Annual Scientific Meeting has been steadily progressing, and many thanks go to Dr Neilsen, A/Prof Marshall and the organising committee for the great program they have put together so far for both the ASM and Trainees’ Day. Members are still highly encouraged to register as an increase in registrations is still required to ensure the meeting is financially viable.

The next meeting of the AChSHM Committee will take place on Friday 1 April, face-to-face in the College's Sydney office.

Dr Graham Neilsen, President
Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine
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