AFOEM eBulletin – 27 July 2018

Occupational Health 2018 Conference

The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) and Fellowship of Occupational Medicine (FOM) held their annual Occupational Health Conference at Regent’s University in London from 25 to 27 June 2018. Topics included mental health, the changing world of work and multi-disciplinary working.  

AFOEM President-elect, Malcolm Sim, and AFOEM Policy & Advocacy NZ Representative, David Beaumont, attended the Conference.

The Conference program included Workplace Visits that were chosen to provide insights into aspects of occupational health which delegates may not usually have access to. This included visits to Oxford Circus Station, London Underground Emergency Response Unit, and British Airways. A Trainee Conference was also held, offering a unique program of educational and networking opportunities for trainees. The main conference days were held on 26 and 27 of June, with presentations from:

  • Dame Carol Black, Expert Advisor on Health and Work to the Department of Health
  • Professor Neil Greenberg, King’s College, London
  • Professor Craig Jackson, Birmingham University
  • Professor Diana Kloss MBE, Occupational Health Law Barrister
  • Professor Gina Radford, Deputy Chief Medical Officer.  

For further information on topics, presenters, and general information, please visit the Occupational Health Conference website.

A message from your President

I welcome Cara Loftus our newly appointed AFOEM Executive Officer. Together with Lisa Penlington and Jo Goldrick, she has provided support for the Faculty during the recent staff transitional phase.

The Planning Day and council meeting are fast approaching. The Planning Day sets strategic direction and activities for the coming two years. Topics for the agenda have been developed and it should be an interesting day.

This will be my first council meeting as President. I look forward to welcoming new council members and returning members. By the time you read this the agenda will be finalised.

On 10 July 2018 I attended the SA AFOEM regional committee meeting, under the chairmanship of Dr Graham Wright. Graham has taken over the reins from Dr John Wilson.  On behalf of the local members and Faculty I would like to thank John for his time and contribution to the State committee. John undertook this role for several years and during a challenging time in state workplace related legislation. I wish him all the best in his imminent retirement and his budding authorship, expanding his long-time interest in railways and regional history.

This SA regional committee meeting was very well attended and a number of matters were discussed, with a particular focus on the local trainees and their requirements. Issues identified relating to the trainees included, knowledge acquisition, transmission and application; how to prepare for exit exams, and how can the local fellows support trainees to reach their potential. Employment opportunities during training were also considered an issue. Associate Professor Michael Shanahan, AFOEM Fellow and Rheumatologist, discussed Team Based Learning (TBL) – a collaborative approach to enhance active learning and critical thinking which is different to Problem Based Learning (PBL). TBL can be used in enhancing knowledge and skills for Fellows, not just trainees. Another topic raised was what methods could be used to enhance standards of professionalism within the Faculty.

Thank you to the members of AFOEM Faculty Policy and Advocacy Committee (FPAC) who recently authored a College submission to the ‘Senate inquiry into the management of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in and around Defense bases’. 

The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM)/Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) combined conference in London was held from 25 to 27 June. It was attended by our President-elect Professor Malcolm Sim and Faculty Fellow and RACP Congress Lead Fellow Dr David Beaumont. As you can see from the picture (in the eBulletin email) they were admirable representatives. SOM is comprised of health care professionals, such as GPs, occupational health nurses and associated healthcare professional groups who are also involved in improving the health of the UK’s workforce.

The Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ) Pain Special Interest Group (SIG) has requested a meeting with AFOEM to discuss matters of mutual common purpose and potential collaboration. RMSANZ was formed in 2015 by Rehabilitation Physicians who are Fellows of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine RACP. The Pain SIG has members of RMSANZ who are particularly concerned with pain management and rehabilitation in pain-associated disability, and continue the work of their pre-existent Musculoskeletal Medicine, Pain and Occupational Rehabilitation SIG of the AFRM. I have written back to RMSANZ Pain SIG stating our interest in a meeting and further discussions. The RMSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting will be held in Auckland, NZ as a conjoint meeting with the Asia Oceanian Society of Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine on 21 to 24 November 2018.

Lastly a big thank you to Dr Caron Jander for making time available to be interviewed on ABC Radio National on ‘Life Matters’, in which she referenced the AFOEM Guide to Pregnancy and Work (authored by Dr Jander and Dr Robin Chase).

Dr Beata Byok, 
President, AFOEM

Expressions of Interest for RACP Councils and Committees

Expressions of Interest are being sought for a number of appointed positions.  Available positions are listed on the RACP website along with position descriptions, By-laws for each Council or Committee and the forms you will need to complete the process.

The following positions are Expressions of Interest specific to AFOEM members:
AFOEM member to be on a newly established Employment, Poverty and Health (EPH) Reference Group 
AFOEM Fellow resident in NZ to join the Māori Health Committee (MHC)

ANZSOM NSW/ACT Branch Weekend August Meeting

Join your colleagues this August for a weekend getaway and educational event. The program on Saturday features a tour of the National Gallery of Australia, gin and vodka tasting from a boutique local distillery with canapes, followed by the Conference Dinner.

On Sunday, there will be presentations from a variety of speakers as well as a buffet breakfast, morning tea and lunch.

Please visit the ANZOM website to register and for more information.

$17,000 on offer – don’t miss these funding opportunities offered by your Faculty

Travel Grants for 2019 and the second funding round for Education Development (Study)  Grants for 2018 applications close on Monday, 6 August (11.59 pm AEST).

If you’re thinking of taking up study overseas or doing further training and getting more technical experience in Australia or New Zealand apply now for:

Now is also the time to be thinking about research presentations for the Trainee Research Awards for your chance to attend the 2019 RACP Congress in Auckland and to have your abstract published.

Visit the RACP Foundation webpage for full details of all awards and prizes offered by your Faculty and the College. For more information about the eligibility criteria or the application process, please contact  RACP Foundation or phone +61 2 9256 9639.

ANZCA’s PM10 Statement on Medicinal Cannabis

The Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) has recently updated its statement on medicinal cannabis named PM10 Statement on 'Medicinal Cannabis' with particular reference to its use in the management of patients with chronic non-cancer pain, following a consultative forum.

Compared with the 2015 statement, there are no changes to its position fundamentally, that is – the current evidence base is insufficient to demonstrate the efficacy of cannabinoids in pain management among patients with chronic non-cancer pain and to support their clinical use in this context. This position is also bolstered by a recent landmark systematic review, on which the development of TGA’s document on guidance for the use of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain in Australia is based. 

Additionally, the background notes of the FPM’s 2018 statement include a brief summary of new evidence. 

Grants on offer

Up to $10,000 in professional development funding is on offer to RACP Fellows who live and work in rural and remote Australia. 

The grants are being offered as part of round three of the the Support for Rural Specialists in Australia Program.

Making a connection podcast out now

In this Pomegranate Health episode, US-based physician Associate Professor Danielle Ofri discusses where breakdowns in doctor-patient communication occur – often in the first 10 or 20 seconds of a consultation. Dr Ofri suggests ways for physicians to listen better, be understood and promote adherence.

Read more

Evolve updates


Are you currently planning to undertake research as part of your Advanced Training? With 20 Evolve Top 5 Lists currently available, the recommendations to drive high-value, high-quality care offer an opportunity to undertake research across specialties. Find out more about Evolve by visiting or contacting

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.  

How to have difficult conversations 

Three training resources are available, which provide examples of how to include the Evolve Top 5 List recommendations in difficult conversations between:

Exciting line-up for Northern Territory event

Join colleagues from across Australia for a critical look at healthcare and vulnerable populations at the 2018 Northern Territory Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM).

Featuring a keynote address from Young Australian of the Year in the UK, Dr Geordan Shannon, the ASM brings together experts from Australia and abroad to share ideas, acquire new knowledge and develop unique insights that will help improve your practice.

Find out more

RACP social media channels 

The RACP has recently launched their very own Instagram page. This platform will be used to feature images and stories from around the College, with the aim of sharing our unique history, values and achievements. We would like to encourage all members of the College to follow us under the handle @theracp, and welcome you to invite colleagues, family, friends, and anyone else with an interest in the College to do the same. 

If you’re not already following us on our existing social media channels, please like/follow us via the following links:

Additionally, if you have any content you would like to put forward for consideration please email

Review of the Nationally Consistent Approval Framework for Workplace Rehabilitation Providers 

The Head of Workers’ Compensation Authorities (HWCA) is seeking consultation feedback in relation to its review of the Nationally Consistent Approval Framework for Workplace Rehabilitation Providers (NCAF).
The focus of this consultation is threefold:

  • examining the demand and appetite for national consistency and mutual recognition of workplace rehabilitation providers
  • considering whether the NCAF is fit for purpose and whether there are other regulatory and non-regulatory options
  • examining the effectiveness of the NCAF in approving suitably qualified and competent providers, safeguarding standards and providing quality assurance in the provision of workplace rehabilitation.

For further information about this consultation and to provide feedback, please visit the HWCA website. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 17 August 2018.

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.

Expressions of Interest

You can now go to the Expressions of Interest page at any time, to find out if there are any opportunities that are of benefit to you.

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:
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