AFOEM eBulletin – 21 September 2018

Examinations and accreditation – what does this mean for you?

Education, now more than ever, is the cornerstone of RACP activity and an integral part of developing and maintaining professional physician expertise in Australasia. The College is committed to providing resources to ensure that our ‘education’ – meaning training, assessment, and ongoing professional development – is fully supported, and the goal for the Faculty is to align as far as possible with the College so that we can take advantage of that resourcing, but make sure that we apply College practice in our own context – a generic program based on hospital employment will not always be appropriate for occupational medicine. 

What are the implications for our Faculty? The College is overhauling training and assessment, with the current goal being the finalisation and implementation of the Basic Training curriculum – at this stage applicable to the Divisions of Adult and Paediatric medicine, but the Advanced Training curricula (including us) revision is due to start soon – including occupational medicine. Obviously, we have had a curriculum for several years (with grateful thanks to those who contributed, especially Dr David Goddard), but it’s time for review and updating, and incorporating new modes of teaching, learning, and assessing. There’s likely to be a change in our assessment processes – expect more and varied assessment types, and a move away from the format and content of periodic examinations. In the future, the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) imply that formal professional re-accreditation will be required, but the timeline is not clear.

What does this mean for you as a trainee or Fellow? Guidance on what the format of the curriculum and the logistics of the review will be provided in due course, but we’re likely to need input from a wide range of you if we’re going to make our curriculum relevant for the future. We need to ensure our assessments are consistent and fair, and set at the right level – given that training is something that happens day to day, the College is focusing on supervisor competence. Supervision and trainee development is a core element of professional practice, and the College provides face to face and online resources to develop your potential as a mentor and supervisor, and you can even start as a trainee and continue as a Fellow, or start any time in your career.

Check the resource online on the CPD section of the website and choose a session that suits you. The prospect of accreditation makes most Fellows nervous, but if professional development and improvement has become your habit then whatever system is adopted it’s not likely to be very daunting. Supervisor training is an easy way to develop your professional skills and earn points, and the techniques are relevant to everyone’s practice – negotiating, dealing with difficult people, delivering bad news, etc. Here are the statistics for the Faculty to date:
Stage A: 23 active trainees 
Stage B: 46 active trainees 
Stage C: 22 active trainees
feature image

Dr Alison Drewry 
Chair, AFOEM Faculty Education Committee

A message from your President

I know that we are all time poor, so I appreciate you taking the time to read the eBulletin. 

Each month I report on what we as a Faculty have done and are doing on your behalf.  The eBulletin is also an opportunity for you to share your experiences, what you consider important issues, developments, achievements, and future aspirations for our Faculty. So please send in your ideas or even articles. And encourage a colleague to read the eBulletin.

I have great pleasure in announcing Dr Kevin Sleigh, from Victoria is the recipient of the AFOEM President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Faculty. I had hoped to be able to personally present Kevin with the award, but for various reasons this was not possible.  Kevin has given so much of his time and experience to actively contribute to the faculty as a councillor, to educate and train, as a mentor and role model for aspiring occupational physicians and fellow colleagues. He is held in high regard and respected by Fellows and trainees. He has touched many with his kindness, wise advice and passion for occupational and environmental medicine

I look forward to meeting with Fellows and registrars in Melbourne on Monday, 8 October 2018, as part of my president’s visits to each region.  All AFOEM Victorian members are invited to join us at the Pullman Melbourne on the Park from 5pm to 6pm. 

Our very active Faculty Policy & Advocacy Committee (FPAC) took the lead in producing an RACP Submission to the Australian Parliament’s Health, Aged Care and Sport Committee Inquiry into Biotoxin-related Illnesses in Australia. The Faculty was invited to make the submission to the inquiry ensuring the Committee received credible clinical input from a relevant clinical group.  The focus was on chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS).  The submission was dispatched and is now available for viewing on the AFOEM website. Dr Graeme Edwards represented the College and Faculty at the Parmliamentary Inquiry on Thursday, 9 August 2018. 

Dr David Cleveland, represented the Faculty as a panel member at the Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference on the topic of ‘Disease Prevention in the Workplace – Who Has a Role To Play?’ Thank you to Graeme and David for making yourselves available and for your input.  

Initial discussions have occurred with Dr Harry Eeman, Chair of the Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ) Pain Special Interest Group. I look forward to exploring future mutually advantageous interactions that assist patients with chronic pain within the work setting.

On another note, I would like to welcome Dr Alan Huynh, trainee from NSW, as the Trainee Representative on FPAC.

Planning has commenced for the 2019 Annual Training Meeting (ATM) and RACP Congress 2019. The ATM will be held from 3 to 5 May 2018, and Congress will follow from 6 to 8 May 2018. The events will take place in Auckland, New Zealand.  Registration will be opening soon on the Congress website.

I encourage New Zealand members to join the planning committees for Congress and the ATM.  Many hands make light work. This is an opportunity to engage with colleagues, to broaden outlooks and help contribute to the collective experience. Please email for further information about getting involved in the planning process.

A reminder that the ANZSOM Annual Scientific Meeting will be held next month, from 7 to 10 October 2018. The diverse program will highlight varying perspectives in occupational health including clinical updates, setting-specific issues, legal considerations and more. To register or for more information, please visit the ANZSOM webpage

In the spirit of the Model of Collaboration that was signed between ANZSOM and AFOEM in 2017, we are exploring collaboration opportunities for 2019 and hope to contribute to ANZSOM's Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) later that year. Dr Josh Munn SA Councillor, is the AFOEM representative on the ASM planning committee.  

AFOEM Fellows and trainees are invited to nominate a Fellow or trainee for the AFOEM President’s Award. Please send in your nominations by 5pm AEDT Wednesday, 10 October 2018.

Nominations for College medals are also open, but due to close in October.  Please visit the RACP Foundation website for further information. This is another opportunity to put forward names from our Faculty to be recognised by the College.

Best wishes and I’m looking forward to future contributions, 
Dr Beata M Byok
AFOEM President

RACP awards and medals

To acknowledge outstanding achievements of our members, the RACP grants a number of awards. These awards provide an opportunity for the College and its membership to recognise and celebrate the accomplishments of members as well as promote their successes to inspire others. 

Nominations are now being accepted for the following:

Fellows and trainees of AFOEM are encouraged to consider nominating members of the
Faculty for these awards.

AFOEM Regional Committee casual vacancies

There are various casual vacancies on AFOEM Regional Committees to be filled by way of expressions of interest.

New South Wales

  • one position open for Trainee Representative of AFOEM NSW Regional Committee.

New Zealand

  • one position open for Deputy Chair of AFOEM NZ Regional Committee.

Queensland/Northern Territory

  • one position open for the Chair of AFOEM QLD/NT Regional Committee
  • one position open for Deputy Chair of AFOEM QLD/NT Regional Committee
  • one position open for Trainee Representative of AFOEM QLD/NT Regional Committee.

South Australia

  • one position open for Deputy Chair of AFOEM SA Regional Committee.


  • one position open for Deputy Chair of AFOEM VIC/TAS Regional Committee

Western Australia

  • one position open for Chair of AFOEM WA Regional Committee
  • one position open for AFOEM Trainee of AFOEM WA Regional Committee.

Before nominating for the role, candidates must familiarise themselves with the following documents:

To nominate, submit a completed Expression of Interest Form and your resume by email to

IMiA registrations are now open 

The 5th International Medicine in Addiction conference will be held from 1 to 3 March 2019 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

We look forward to welcoming you to three days of thought-provoking presentations led by local and international addiction specialists and a range of practical workshops – all focusing on behavioural aspects of addiction, stress and addiction and the controversies in prescribing.

To register your attendance, visit Don’t miss out on a discounted Early Bird rate by securing your ticket before the deadline, 30 November 2018.

Poster abstract submissions are now open until Friday, 26 October 2018. This year we are seeking abstracts relevant to the following three themes:

  • behavioural aspects of addiction
  • stress and addiction
  • controversies in prescribing and practice.

Details about how to submit an abstract are on the conference website.

Convenient online learning opportunities 

Diagnostic error and cultural responsiveness are the focus of two Qstream courses RACP members can register to undertake throughout November and December.

Participants are emailed case studies based on real-life clinical scenarios at spaced intervals. The case studies are designed with the aim of challenging physician thinking and enhancing professional practice.

The courses will run throughout November and December and take as little as five minutes a day, two to three times a week to complete via email. 

Read more

Refugee and asylum seeker health 

The RACP has recently been active in advocating for child detainees at the Nauru immigration detention facility who are seriously unwell to be immediately transferred to Australia.

media statement was released on 28 August and was picked up by radio.  Associate Professor Karen Zwi, a paediatrician and senior Fellow of the RACP, provided a statement saying that “The conditions, circumstances, and duration of offshore processing have damaged peoples’ health, particularly the health of children and their families.”

For those who wish to read more about refugee health, a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) is available: A rapid review of evidence-based information, best practices and lessons learned in addressing the health needs of refugees and migrants: report to the World Health Organization (2018).

New Ethical Guidelines 

The 4th edition of the Guidelines for ethical relationships between physicians and industry are now available. These voluntary guidelines, developed by the RACP Ethics Committee, revise previous editions of the guidelines and seek to support health professionals in identifying, assessing and managing conflicts of interest. 

Read more 

Have your say on the new Basic Training programs

Learning, teaching, and assessment

Detail about the new Basic Training programs is now available for review on the RACP website until 2 October 2018. This includes information about how the curriculum standards will be taught, learned, and assessed.

Fellows and trainees have been working in partnership with RACP staff to develop these proposed programs. Your feedback can help ensure that the new Basic Training programs are feasible and fit-for-purpose for implementation across Australia and New Zealand. As this is a public consultation, individuals outside the College who are interested in Basic Training are welcome to give feedback. You are invited to share the consultation to your wider network, if appropriate.

Have your say on the future of Basic Training.

Use the new Basic Training curricula standards to support your workplace learning

Earlier this year we launched new curricula standards for Basic Physician Training. These standards will start to be assessed in 2020, when the Knowledge Guides will be used as the basis for the 2020 Divisional Written Examinations.

You can now filter the curricula to see specific content relevant to you and export your filtered results to support workplace learning. Visit the RACP website to try the Workplace Learning Planner.

Please contact with any questions.

New partnership with the Pacific Community 

On Monday, 10 September, the RACP and the Pacific Community (SPC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support health frameworks and projects in the region and enhance capacity building in the health sector. 

RACP President, Associate Professor Mark Lane, said the MoU will see the RACP and SPC work together on programs and initiatives, including some rolled out in partnership with other key health organisations such as the World Health Organization.

Read more

Medicinal Cannabis regulation changes in Queensland

Amendments to the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Regulation 2017 enable all specialist medical practitioners to prescribe medicinal cannabis without Department of Health approval when treating the following classes of patients: persons with chronic non-cancer pain, persons experiencing chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting, terminally ill persons with symptoms associated with terminal illness, children with intractable (drug resistant) epilepsy and persons with multiple sclerosis experiencing spasticity. TGA approval is still required for all unapproved medicinal cannabis products through the Special Access Schemes, Category A or B and the Authorised Prescriber pathway.

Read more

Find a consultant page on RACP website

Just a reminder to all AFOEM Fellows and trainees, AFOEM is the only Faculty, Chapter or Division that has created a dedicated page on the RACP website that lists contact details for AFOEM Fellows by state. It is an incredible resource that can be used by all members of the Faculty.

The list is located on the find a consultant page on the RACP website. If you are included in the current listing and your details have changed or you would like to be included on the webiste, please email the AFOEM Executive Officer, Cara Loftus at with the details you would like included on the page (name, address, contact number and preferred email address).

This page is also a useful resource for finding contact details for colleagues in your state and for regional committees to reach out to other Fellows that may want to be included in the various state-based activities. 

Evolve updates


Are you currently planning to undertake research as part of your Advanced Training? The Evolve recommendations offer an opportunity to undertake research in low-value care in specific health priority topics, such as bronchiolitis, polypharmacy and antimicrobial stewardship. Find out more about Evolve and low-value care research opportunities in your specialty by contacting or visit for more information.

Evolve Clinical Champions 

Are you interested in being involved in Policy & Advocacy within RACP? The Evolve initiative offers an opportunity to advocate for high-value, high-quality care in your specialty. Find out how you can become an Evolve Clinical Champion by contacting or visit for more information. 

Evolve at Conferences

This year, RACP has presented on Evolve at RACP Congress, Choosing Wisely National Meeting, National Medicines Symposium, Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM), Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (SOMANZ) and 
Gastroenterological Society of Australia Australian Gastroenterology Week (GESA AGW) and are looking forward to attending The Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists's Annual Scientific Meeting (ASCEPT ASM) in Adelaide during November. We are inviting specialty societies to express interest in RACP attending an ASM to present on Evolve implementation and/or host an exhibition booth. For more information and to express interest in RACP and Evolve attending your ASM, contact

Bushfire season is approaching, be prepared

Australia is facing the possibility of having a much longer fire season of about six or seven months, with bushfire season officially starting in October 2018 and running through to April 2019.

Now is the time to prepare for the bushfire season. Visit to see Vero bushfire tips on how to prepare.

Visit your RACP Member Advantage website to find out more or give Vero a call on 1800 250 962 for a quote on home and contents insurance.

Conferences and events

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.  View all occupational and environmental health medicine events.

Go to the events list at any time to see what events are coming up.

Career opportunities

View all positions vacant

AFOEM contact details

AFOEM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):
Cara Loftus, AFOEM Executive Officer
Phone: +61 2 8076 6351

AFOEM Education and Training enquiries:
Molly Davies, Education Officer
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:
Close overlay