AFOEM ebulletin - 1 July 2022
This last month has been busy finalising nominations for committee positions. I am pleased to welcome Dr Anthony Brown as the Chair of our important Faculty Education Committee. Tony has extensive experience in the Assessment Committee, and this will be invaluable in his new role. Dr Mary Obele will chair the Faculty Policy and Advocacy Committee (FPAC) and Dr Mary Wyatt will chair the Health Benefits of Good Work™ Executive Committee. Dr Cath Kelaher will represent AFOEM on the Collaborative Partnership taking over from Dr Robin Chase, who has worked with the RACGP to introduce the principles on the role of the GP in supporting work participation. We still have a vacancy for the trainee representative on FPAC and would welcome any applications as we need the trainee perspective and importantly they will be able to feed back to other trainees on emerging and advocacy issues.
Dr Farhan Shahzad is the AFOEM Lead Fellow for Congress which is to be held in Brisbane in May 2023. Members are invited to submit requests for topics to be covered at Congress. Details are in the ROC Open Forum, so this is an opportunity for members to submit what they would like to hear about.
With respect to the ROC, there are mobile phone apps for this which only require monthly log ins. I have found the ROC app is a quick and convenient way to stay abreast of issues in the College and highly recommend this to our members. There is an AFOEM thread on the ROC and we are exploring additional ways of improving communication to our members.
An excellent Health Benefits of Good Work™ webinar was held on 29 June on the important topic of ‘Psychologically Safe Workplaces’ and the role of psychosocial factors in addressing workers compensation issues. Improving workplace culture is an important component of reducing interpersonal conflicts, bullying and harassment with the consequent claims for workers compensation.
Earlier this year, AFOEM provided input to the NSW Standing Committee on Law and Justice ‘Review of the Dust Diseases Scheme’. The report was recently released and all seven of our key requests have been supported. The Committee has made 12 recommendations to which the NSW Government is expected to respond in September.
The ‘All of Governments’ response to the final report of the National Dust Disease Taskforce was released in March. Little information was forthcoming because of caretaker conventions during the recent Australian election. I had a meeting in Canberra recently with key Department of Health staff who assured me they were fully committed to implementing these recommendations. They advised there is a lot of progress being made behind the scenes with respect to legislation and funding to support the recommendations, and in particular a national reporting system and registry.
Finally, winter is here and unplanned absence rates will be rising among workers as the number of influenza cases are increasing well above pre-COVID-19 levels. Our members have much to contribute to productivity by actively promoting influenza vaccination in the workplace.
Dr Warren Harrex
AFOEM Trainees are advised that the recordings and slides from the Annual Training Meeting (ATM) 2022 are now available online. Slides can be found on the RACP website.
Video recordings can be found on Medflix. Medflix is home to the RACP's extensive collection of powerful and engaging educational videos. To log in to Medflix, all you need are your usual member login details.
Additional ATM 2022 learning resources are also available online.
Recordings of the two recent launches to introduce this important initiative are now available on the RACP It Pays to Care webpage. The key messages have been well-supported by organisations that are involved in injured worker return-to-work programs. The AFOEM members leading this work are continuing to engage with key stakeholders to drive improvements.
The report from the Standing Committee on Law and Justice was released on Friday, 10 June 2022. The College made a submission in December 2021, and at the February 2022 hearing, two Fellows gave evidence which included seven key recommendations. These have been supported by the Committee. However, the NSW Government’s response will not be known until September 2022. AFOEM continues to advocate strongly that the recommendations of the National Dust Diseases Taskforce be implemented nationally and consistently in all jurisdictions.
NSW Transport has advised the College that its HealthLink web-portal is being improved to make submitting Fitness to Drive medical assessments faster and easier for patients. Paper forms will be discontinued from Sunday, 31 July 2022. There will be no changes to the requirements to undertake a medical review for older drivers and those with a chronic medical condition. Customers will continue to receive written notification from Transport NSW when they are required to undertake a medical review.
Don’t miss your chance to apply for RACP Research Awards in the following categories:
Round two applications for Education Development (Study) Grants now open
These include the AFOEM Education Development Grant and Skilled Medical Scholarship for Advancement of Indigenous Health. Applications close Monday, 18 July 2022.
Closing dates and full details are available on the RACP Foundation Research Awards webpage.
Nominations are now open for a range of College and Fellowship awards. These awards acknowledge the outstanding contributions and achievements made by Fellows and trainees in their respective fields.
We encourage you to nominate for the following categories:
- 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 presented by the College for best contribution to the knowledge of internal medicine.
Full details are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.
Applications for Trainee Research Awards open on Friday, 1 July and close on Wednesday, 31 August 2022. Trainees and New Fellows undertaking post-Fellowship training with the RACP are encouraged to apply.
The Trainee Research Awards provide a valuable opportunity for trainees to present their research at an Australian regional or Aotearoa New Zealand event. Trainees who take out top honours at their regional events will be invited to present alongside recognised researchers at the RACP Congress in 2023, and will receive complimentary Congress registration, travel, and accommodation.
For more information, visit the RACP Trainee Research Awards website.
Are you a trainee interested in the history of medicine? The History of Occupational Medicine Committee is looking for a trainee to work under the supervision of one of Australia’s leading medical historians, Associate Professor Cate Storey, and an occupational physician from the Committee. In this role, you will analyse the History of Occupational Medicine Witness Seminar, which was undertaken in March 2022, using the internationally renowned 'Welcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine’s' reports as a template.
Undergraduate and post-graduate medical training is increasingly recognising the value of humanities in their programs, and in recent years, there has been widespread acceptance of the value of mixed methods in public health research: qualitative AND quantitative data. AFOEM, jointly with ANZSOM and the RACP History of Medicine Library is establishing an archive for the history of occupational medicine in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, and providing research opportunities for trainees is one of our aims.
The Committee will assist the successful trainee with their submission to the Faculty Assessment Committee. We are looking for a trainee with an interest in the history of occupational medicine – the supervisors will provide education and guidance on the methodology. The project must be completed in time for the proposed 40th year of the inauguration of ACOM celebrations in March 2024.
If you are interested in finding out more, please contact the Chair of the History of Occupational Medicine Committee, Professor Niki Ellis: firstname.lastname@example.org.
During July and August, there are some great learning opportunities available to members, including:
- Wednesday, 13 July: Environmental Health, presented by Dr Kevin Smith
- Wednesday, 20 July: Occupational Medicine 101 (session #2)
- Saturday, 6 August: WA Branch Mini-Conference at Mandurah
- Saturday, 6 August to Sunday, 7 August: NSW/ACT Branch Weekend Meeting at Newcastle
#itswhatyouknow - WA Branch Webinar
Presenter: Dr Kevin Smith
Date: Wednesday, 13 July 2022, 6pm (AWST)
Cost: Free for AFOEM Fellows and trainees
#itswhatyouknow - Occupational Medicine 101
Date: Wednesday, 20 July 2022
More details to come
WA Branch Mini-Conference and AGM
Date: Saturday, 6 August 2022
Venue: The Sebel Mandurah
Cost: $190 for AFOEM Fellows and trainees, $220 for non-members
NSW/ACT Branch Weekend Meeting
Date: Saturday, 6 August to Sunday, 7 August 2022
Venue: Rydges Newcastle
More details, including cost TBC
To register for these event and to find out more visit ANZSOM
Not an ANZSOM member?
Subscribe to ANZSOM news
Congratulations to the 26 RACP Fellows recognised in the 2022 Queens Birthday Honours list. These awards highlight the outstanding work RACP members do and the importance of that work in local, national and international communities.
To view the full list of award recipients, visit the RACP Queen's Birthday Honours 2022 website.
The RACP welcomes the new Australian Federal Government, in particular its commitment to the Uluru Statement from the Heart which we whole-heartedly support.
The RACP will work with the new Australian Government on the improvements in the healthcare system and caring industries it has committed to, following strong advocacy from the RACP and other voices. These include improvements to aged care, childcare, a review of the NDIS, the establishment of a centre for prevention and disease control and a A$1.5 billion medical manufacturing fund.
As part of the Kids COVID Catch Up campaign we have been calling for mental health funding for children and young people, and the government has announced its Student Wellbeing Boost to provide mental health funding in schools. In addition, The Hon. Mark Butler MP, who may be the new Health Minister, committed to rapid review of supports required for children with disability in schools, in response to emails from Kids COVID Catch Up campaign supporters. We will be holding the new government to these commitments and urging it to go further.
During the election, the RACP led the Healthy Climate Future campaign, which is supported by nine other medical colleges, representing more than 100,000 doctors. We are calling for a climate-ready and climate-friendly healthcare system. We look forward to working with the new government to develop a national strategy on climate change and health, which it has previously committed to. The strategy must improve the resilience of our healthcare system to extreme weather events and reduce the healthcare system’s emissions — which currently make up about seven per cent of national emissions — to net zero.
Our profession is changing
We are pleased to announce the Gender Equity in Medicine Working Group Report, launched at an event on 21 June 2022. Thank you to those who attended and supported this important event.
Visit the Gender Equity in Medicine webpage to access the report, the launch event recording, and other resources, and to stay up-to-date with College initiatives within this area. We also encourage interested members to get involved in the new Gender Equity in Medicine Committee.
Find out more
Join College staff Carol Pizzuti and Dr Cristiana Palmieri as they present “Using electronic health data to strengthen Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for medical practitioners”.
This webinar is being presented as part of their CPD PhD project, and is being hosted internationally at the Medical Education Research Unit (MERU), Imperial College School of Medicine, London. The project aims to investigate how medical regulations, CPD programs, and data culture in health-care service organisations have an impact on the use of electronic health data analysis, and how this can be used to strengthen CPD for medical practitioners.
Findings from the project will be used to develop evidence-based recommendations for Australian medical regulatory bodies, health-care service organizations, and medical education providers to improve their current and future governance, planning, and decision-making processes. This insight will inform ongoing practice improvement.
Attend the webinar on Tuesday, 12 July 2022 from 6pm to 7.30pm (AWST) / 8pm to 9.30pm (AEST) / 10pm to 11.30pm (NZST).
Register your attendance
The Department of Health’s NDSS Enhancement (NDSSE) Project is delivering updated IT systems and business processes to underpin the NDSS and reduce administration overhead where possible. The new NDSS IT system will include an online portal to provide health professionals who interact with the NDSS the option to complete relevant NDSS forms electronically in conjunction with the patient. Paper forms will remain an option for those who prefer.
The Health Professional (HP) Portal has been designed to provide a quicker, more streamlined, and more efficient process to register and connect patients with the NDSS for ongoing access to NDSS products. Development has been informed by the participation of relevant health professionals in a User Reference Group. The reference group consists of Credentialled Diabetes Educator, general practitioner, practice nurse, general practice manager, and nurse practitioner representatives.
For more information, please contact the NDSSE Project team at NDSSEnhancementProject@health.gov.au
Ep82: Coming back from Burnout— Congress 2022
Not a day goes by where there isn’t a headline about the overstretched health service and the struggling professionals in it. But COVID-19 didn’t create this situation; the pandemic was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
At the RACP Congress in May 2022, ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeon Eric Levi FRACS explained why burnout should be considered an occupational disorder and not as a mental health condition, and how the medical profession has a way of consuming one’s personal life on top of the stresses of work relationships and the job itself.
Associate Professor Michelle Telfer FRACP talked about being hounded for two years by the conservative press over her work with young people struggling with gender identity. Pain specialist Olivia Ong FAFRM FFPMANZCA described how she had been driven by an unhealthy professional identity until a traumatic spinal injury forced her to reconsider the meaning of self-care. Both physicians found the courage to take control of the situation and define their roles on their own terms.
RACP Member Assistance Program
Australia: 1300 687 327
Aotearoa New Zealand: 0800 666 367
24hr Counselling for Doctors in Distress
Doctor’s Health Advisory Service Helpline
Phone numbers by jurisdiction
Australia: 13 11 14
Aotearoa New Zealand: 0800 54 33 54
Ep81: Advocacy from the Top is the final part of our series on advocacy. In this episode we examine what happens to advocacy issues after they land on an MP’s desk, and how they eventually become policy.
We hear the perspectives of two physicians who took advocacy to the next level and ran for Federal Parliament. They explain the process of getting health policy heard and how to push it onto the political agenda. Listen to their interviews in the RACP documentary titled: The Advocate's Journey.
- Dr Rob Lethbridge FRACP (Perth Children’s Hospital)
- Dr Mike Freelander MP FRACP
- Dr Katie Allen MP (at time of interview)
Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, or any podcasting app. Fellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits for listening via MyCPD. For a transcript and further references please visit our website.
Did you know the ROC (RACP Online Community) has a mobile app that allows you to connect and discuss on the go? The app can be used to initiate discussions, find other members, read the latest posts, and share your expertise. Simply type ‘RACP-ROC’ into Apple store or Google Play, then download the app, and connect with your colleagues today.
Winter is here and with the colder weather comes the opportunity to celebrate with family and friends. It's also a great time to shop and save with great offers and discounts on your rewards platform.
Go into the draw to win a $500 Harvey Norman eGift Card* when you make any purchase on the platform between 7pm and 10pm AEST on Fridays in July. That's a total of 5 lucky winners and you could be one!
Log in today to start shopping or call 1300 853 352. For more information, visit: https://racp.memberadvantage.com.au (Aus) or https://racpnz.memberadvantage.com.au (AoNZ).
Available online 24/7. That's your Member Advantage.
*Terms and conditions apply.
- Changes to COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme
- Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health: June 2022
- Internal Medicine Journal: June 2022
- Webinar: Surgical Epilepsy Management — 13 July, 6pm AEST
- Webinar: Kidney Supportive Care – An Overview — 18 July, 6pm AEST
- Webinar: Bone Health in Neurological Disorders — 19 July, 6pm AEST
- Financial Wellbeing Webinar: Tips and Traps — 21 July, 7pm AEST
- Webinar: The Next Five Years in Health — 23 July, 10am AEST
- Webinar: COVID-19 and DMARDs: Keeping Up with the Latest Evidence — 25 July, 7pm AEST
- Webinar: How to Navigate Diagnosing and the Management of GDM in the Era of Bariatric Surgery — 26 July, 5pm AEST
- Webinar: Peripheral Neuropathy — 3 August, 6pm AEST
- Webinar: Make it count: Choose every blood product for transfusion wisely — 10 August, 6pm AEST
- Webinar: Quality and Safety in Rural Australia — 11 August, 6pm AEST
- Developing Effective Teaching Skills Spaced Learning Course — online learning from 1 August
Check the Expressions of Interest page at any time, to find out if there are any opportunities that are of benefit to you.
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians publishes notices of events and courses as a service to members. Such publication does not constitute endorsement or mandating of any such events or courses.
Go to the events list at any time to see what events are coming up.
AFOEM contact details
AFOEM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):
AFOEM Executive Officer
AFOEM Education and Training enquiries:
Phone: +61 2 8247 6268
AFOEM Examination enquiries:
Examination Coordinator, Assessment and Selection Unit
AFOEM training site accreditation inquiries:
Site Accreditation Unit
AFOEM CPD enquiries: