AFOEM eBulletin – 28 May 2021

A message from your President

Here in Melbourne, after almost three months of no community transmission, we are on the cusp of another major outbreak of COVID-19. This time from a returned overseas traveller who quarantined for two weeks in Adelaide, before heading home to Melbourne after doing all of the right things. A report from the South Australian Health Department has concluded that the case was infected while in hotel quarantine. From that index case, Victoria now has a total of 30 cases and more are likely to follow, as 121 exposure sites have been identified, many of which are Tier 1. Worryingly, two of the exposure sites are football matches held in Melbourne last weekend, with large crowds.  Additional cause for concern is that this is the highly infectious variant from India and there is a gap in the chain of transmission from the index case to later cases. Melbourne is now in a seven-day lockdown. This situation again highlights the complexities and challenges of hotel quarantine. It also highlights the urgent need for speeding up the vaccination rollout, which has also had its challenges.

Moving onto better news, one of the highlights of being AFOEM President is the opportunity to attend the annual College Convocation Ceremony. This was cancelled last year due to COVID-19, but the 2021 ceremony was able to be held in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago. I was really pleased to see that we conferred Fellowship on 25 of our AFOEM trainees, 21 from Australia and four from Aotearoa New Zealand, who had met the requirements for Fellowship over the past two years. The New Fellows are:
AFOEM New Fellows list

I’d like to offer my heartiest congratulations to all of our New Fellows and wish them well as they start out on their careers as specialist occupational and environmental physicians. The future is in good hands. Attending the Fellowship ceremony also gave me the opportunity to don the AFOEM President attire, including gown, hat and medal, and also carry the AFOEM caducea. Here is a picture of me with Associate Professor Linda Selvey, Immediate Past President of AFPHM and Professor Tim Geraghty, Immediate Past President of AFRM. I’m sure you will agree with me that the AFOEM Presidential trappings stand out from the crowd.  


The 2021 RACP Congress was recently held, with an innovative program over almost two weeks, mostly held virtually but with face-to-face sessions held in six cities across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. A main highlight for AFOEM was the Ferguson-Glass Oration, given by our own Professor Michael Shanahan. Michael’s presentation covered the challenges of maintaining medical professionalism in the face of the many ethical dilemmas and professional pressures specialist physicians face. He had a particular focus on the pressures faced by specialist occupational and environmental physicians and maintaining professionalism in their interactions with the many workplace stakeholders. This was a very thought-provoking presentation and gives pause for self-reflection. The central theme of Michael’s talk has been picked up by the AFOEM Policy & Advocacy Committee and we are looking at ways to better assist our Fellows and trainees in maintaining medical professionalism in their careers.

Another highlight of Congress was the Ramazzini Prize, which involves our trainees presenting the findings from their research projects. While the number of presentations was a little lower this year, the quality was high and I’d like to congratulate Dr Zen Yap for being awarded the Prize for 2021 for a presentation on chronic lower back pain.  There was also a very thought-provoking session on the challenges of supervision, including better equipping Fellows for the supervisor role, which is so critical to the success of the AFOEM training program. This included input by Fellows and trainees and is the start of a series of activities to strengthen the supervisor process for both supervisors and trainees. I’d like to give special thanks to Dr Amanda Sillcock, Dr David Goddard, Dr Mary Wyatt, Dr Andrea James and Dr Shana Khan for their leadership in organising the AFOEM content at Congress.


Professor Malcolm Sim AM
AFOEM President

AFOEM Fellows interview series

This series provides insight into the careers of retired and actively serving physicians in occupational medicine. I am very privileged and extremely humbled to continue to meet inspiring colleagues. On this occasion I had the pleasure of talking to AFOEM President Professor Malcolm Sim AM. 

Dr Farhan Shahzad, Consultant Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sydney

An interview with Professor Malcolm Sim AM

Farhan: Thanks for joining us during these very busy times of your term. Please tell us more about yourself.

Professor Malcolm Sim: I was raised in Melbourne and have lived here all my life. I am the middle of five boys. I studied medicine at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1980. I did a Bachelor of Medical Science research degree during my medical degree. After my residency years, I completed a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Hygiene at Deakin University and was fortunate enough to get a Fellowship to study at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for a year completing my Master's in Occupational Medicine, which was a fantastic experience. I later completed a PhD in epidemiology at Monash University. I am married to my wife, Jane, and we have three adult children, one of whom lives in Hong Kong and another near Brisbane.

Farhan: Tell us about your training and how you became an occupational physician. What in particular drew your interest to this specialty?

Professor Malcolm Sim:
After my two years of residency in Melbourne, I decided that while I found hospital medicine interesting, it wasn't quite what I wanted to do for my future career in medicine. So, I took some time off and travelled overseas through Asia, the Middle East and Europe with my wife for about nine months. When we returned home, a medical officer job came up at the Naval Dockyard in Williamstown. My father-in-law, Dr James Milne, an occupational physician who at the time had a leadership role in the recently formed Australian College of Occupational Medicine (ACOM), was always very encouraging of this field. So, even though I had no training or experience, I applied and was successful in taking the job at the Naval Dockyard, which became the start of my journey in occupational medicine. 

The Naval Dockyard back in the 1980s provided a fascinating work environment. Refitting of naval ships was a major activity, involving exposure to asbestos and a wide range of other hazards. I learned a lot about occupational medicine and industrial relations. I then worked at the Occupational Health Service in the Victorian Department of Labour for a couple of years, doing worksite inspections with hygienists and inspectors and health monitoring of workers exposed to various hazards. 

I then went to London to complete my MSc in Occupational Medicine. It was really helpful to have had a few years of practical experience before this period of intensive study and this helped me to be one of the joint winners of the prize for top student. After returning to Melbourne I sat my ACOM Fellowship examination. The time in London had stimulated my interest in research and teaching and I was fortunate to be offered a part-time teaching position at the Monash University Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in December 1988. I then received a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Fellowship to do a PhD and commenced active research and established the Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health (MonCOEH).

Farhan: Please tell us about your achievements, your memories and your highlights?

Professor Malcolm Sim: In 1993, I did a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati, Ohio in the US. That was a fantastic year, and I was involved in several health hazard evaluations, worksite visits and some longer-term research projects. I still keep in close touch with some colleagues at NIOSH.  

I was Editor-in-Chief of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, one of the BMJ specialty journals, for seven years and have been involved with the journal for 26 years in various other roles. It is a highly respected international journal that has influenced workplace health policy and practice and opened up a wide international research and professional network to me. 

Another highlight was leading a delegation to China about a decade ago. We were part of an AusAID funded project to investigate Occupational Disease Surveillance in China. Several colleagues and I gathered statistics around occupational lung disease, and we then had a return visit by a group of Chinese clinicians whom I took to site visits in Victoria, Canberra and Sydney. I have also done some follow up projects in China which I have really enjoyed. I also worked for six months at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon in the south of France. I am on the WorkSafe Victoria Health and Safety Committee, and I was on the ethics committee for the Australia Institute of Health and Welfare for nine years. 

And of course, becoming President of AFOEM has been another highlight. I was also given an honorary Fellowship of the Irish Faculty of Occupational Medicine and gave the George Smiley Lecture in November 2018. Through this, I have developed a strong link with our Irish colleagues. I was also awarded Fellowship of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, London.  

Our Centre at Monash set up the occupational and environmental health courses in the 1990s, the Graduate Diploma and Masters, which many of our AFOEM trainees have completed. We also run a short course in clinical occupational medicine that was set up about a decade ago, which is still running and is very popular and well attended.  

Recently, I led a review of the respiratory health monitoring program following the black lung problem in Queensland coal mine workers. This review identified several deficiencies, such as the process of training the examining doctors, quality of x-rays and respiratory function testing and recording of medical information. This has led to major changes in medical monitoring in that industry. Since then, we have had the accelerated silicosis issue in which I have been involved through AFOEM and Monash. These two issues have demonstrated that occupational disease prevention requires constant vigilance.

Another interesting experience I have had is my involvement with the International Commission on Occupational Health. I was elected to the Board for two terms, and I also led the successful bid to hold the triennial ICOH Congress here in Melbourne, which is now to be held virtually in February 2022, as a face-to-face meeting is not possible due to COVID-19. 

Finally, being awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2019 for significant service to occupational and environmental medicine was the pinnacle of my career and completely unexpected. After more than 32 years at Monash, I have recently ‘retired’ from the university and have been given an Emeritus Professor position, so I will maintain some ongoing involvement in MonCOEH.

Farhan: Your experience at Monash and international collaborations has been unique, what do you feel is your legacy? 

Professor Malcolm Sim: I think we have made a big impact through our research and education centre at Monash. We have got a strong presence in the medical course and our students develop a wide understanding of occupational and environmental medicine in medical practice. Setting up the postgraduate programs for trainees has been important because it has helped to train and develop a new generation of occupational and environmental physicians. By setting up our research program, we have become a major reference group for government and industry bodies for advice and establishing long term research projects, especially in ‘high risk’ industries.  

We have undertaken several large-scale cohort studies, set up veteran health cohorts and identified mental health problems associated with deployments in military service. We have done firefighter studies and identified the excess of cancers in that group, which has had legislative implications. Setting up that strong bedrock of research, training and advisory roles has been a key part of our success at Monash.

Farhan: What further plans do you have and what do you aspire to do more? 

Professor Malcolm Sim: The AFOEM Presidency is a great opportunity to raise the profile and reputation of occupational and environmental physicians both in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand and within RACP itself. We have had the opportunity to help influence the government responses during the COVID-19 pandemic by highlighting the importance of an effective health and safety framework, the hierarchy of controls and risk assessment.

We need to promote our Faculty more amongst prospective trainees as we have a lot to offer both in clinical and population health roles. I would like to raise the research profile within our Faculty as well.  I am very much an internationalist, so I would also like us to develop stronger links with like bodies in other countries, especially in low and middle-income countries, where occupational and environmental medicine capability is often low. 

Farhan: What’s your message for trainees and Fellow colleagues? 

Professor Malcolm Sim: For our registrars, it can be a hard road, as it is quite a rigorous training program, but it is important to take it seriously because you need to prepare for it. Getting an AFOEM Fellowship is quite an achievement, and then you have an interesting career ahead of you and the potential for many career options. The great thing about occupational and environmental medicine is the wide diversity of practice. You can teach, research, do advisory work in government and for industry bodies and do worksite visits, which can all complement the clinical work. 

For the Fellows, I would encourage you to contribute to the Faculty.  A lot of the issues that come through the College have a strong occupational and environmental medicine component, such as silicosis and COVID-19, which is now very prominent in thinking in workplaces as they reopen. 

So, I really encourage Fellows to step up and contribute, bringing your experience and knowledge to assist us in raising the profile of the specialty and assisting in training the next generation of occupational and environmental physicians. It really helps to highlight the huge variation in the type of work that our colleagues do and all the doors that are open to them to improve the health of workers and workplaces and promote the health benefits of good work. 


Applications for the 2022 RACP Foundation Research Awards are now open. Upwards of 50 awards up to a total value of $2.5M are available across the different categories: Career Development FellowshipsResearch Establishment Fellowships and Research Entry Scholarships

Applications for other award categories including Research Development GrantsTravel Grants and Education Development Grants are opening Tuesday, 1 June 2021.

The following grants are available to the members of AFOEM:

Most other awards are open to Fellows and trainees of the RACP across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Please refer to the RACP Foundation website for information on specific eligibility requirements for each award.

Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal

Nominations for the Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal for 2022 are now open. This medal is awarded by the RACP every five years to recognise an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of medicine. The medal was last awarded to Professor Roger Reddel in 2017.

This award is open to both RACP Fellows as well as individuals outside the College. However the nominee must be nominated by a Fellow of RACP to be considered.

Details on the application process and selection criteria are available on the website. Nominations close on Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

Conversations with the Board

The Board held its first virtual Conversation with the Board event with members from the Hunter New England (HNE)/Newcastle area on Wednesday, 24 February.

The communique for this Conversation with the Board is available on the RACP website where you will also find previous Conversations


RACP Congress 2021 Watch

All recorded sessions from RACP Congress 2021 are now online for viewing

RACP Congress 2021 concluded with the last of the virtual sessions on Thursday, 20 May. With a total program featuring over 85 sessions, this ambitious event covered a broad range of topics and insightful panel discussions. If you missed a session such as the Noble Oak sponsored ‘In for the long (COVID) haul: Disruption and adaptation for rehabilitation patients and services’ or would like to watch a session again, all recorded sessions will be available for viewing until 29 October 2021. 

For those who didn’t attend but still wish to view the RACP Congress material, you are able to register for a virtual ticket until Friday, 25 June. You can register at

RACP Congress Series 2021 – AFOEM Summary

AFOEM wraps up another exciting year of being part of the RACP Congress. This year’s RACP Congress Series 2021 was delivered as a face-to-face and virtual event over a two-week period.

We had several dedicated and shared sessions in this year’s program, where our invited speakers shared their opinions, thoughts and ideas on a range of occupational and environmental topics. All the sessions were recorded and can be viewed with your Congress registration access for six months.

As the face-to-face RACP Congress 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Michael Shanahan was not able to present the 2020 Ferguson-Glass Oration. So, we were delighted Professor Shanahan agreed to take part in this year’s Congress on Saturday, 1 May 2021 in Adelaide, South Australia. His presentation on 'The practice of occupational medicine as a medical professional' was very interesting and thought provoking. 

Also presented face-to-face on Thursday, 29 April 2021 in Brisbane, Queensland was the session on Workplace safety: 'The challenges of workforce casualisation and mobility'. The panel consisted of Professor Paul Colditz, Dr Robert McCartney and Dr John Parkes. Each spoke on an aspect of how the ever-growing casualisation of the workforce has impacted many people, in particular older people. 

Our virtual program consisted of a series of on-demand and live webinar sessions. These are highlighted below.

Implementing early screening to identify and manage ‘at risk’ workers to prevent unnecessary work disability – Friday, 30 April 2021

This session presented by Professor Michael Nicholas provided us with an invaluable update on the key learning from the Work Injury Screen Early (WISE) study and its relevance for occupational physicians. This WISE landmark study introduced a screening approach to identify those at higher risk of prolonged work disability and provided targeted extra support across a group of NSW public hospitals. Results were a substantial reduction in days lost from work, claim costs and long-term claims in the high-risk cases of the intervention group compared to the control group. The model is a simple one for occupational physicians to implement across organisations they work with.  

Developing our successors: It takes a village to raise a child; it takes an occupational and environmental medicine community to develop a trainee – Monday, 10 May 2021

The panel consisted of Dr David Goddard, Professor Malcolm Sim, Dr Alison Drewry, Dr Harry Chow and Dr Shana Khan who shared their expectations about supervision and learning from the perspective of three Fellows and two trainees. The panel also discussed ideas to shape the training of occupational physicians and better equip supervisors in that learning process. We will aim to keep discussions ongoing post Congress and continue to welcome your feedback. 

Because the specialty of occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) is based in the community (as compared with hospitals), the physical distance between supervisor and trainee can attenuate communication and restrict spontaneous opportunities for learning. Ways to overcome this include more informal, routine use of electronic media, and by creating an expectation among all AFOEM Fellows that the full development of a trainee takes more than what a single supervisor can alone offer.

Communicating the value of occupational physicians to organisational leaders – Thursday, 13 May 2021

This was an engaging session to address how we can better communicate the role occupational physicians can play in assisting organisations to care for their staff and support workplace productivity. The panel consisted of four occupational physicians (OPs): Dr Andrea James, Dr Mary Wyatt, Dr Andrew Jeremijenko and Dr Rob McDonald, and a senior safety and wellbeing director, Cath Jeffries.

OPs spoke about how they influence organisations; through communication, acting as a role model, identifying organisational values and speaking to those values (finance, employee wellbeing, corporate responsibility etc). Cath Jeffries from Monash Health spoke about the ways OPs can play a role in implementing evidence-based practices within organisations. Dr Andrew Jeremijenko also talked about our role in public health via workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

2021 Ramazzini Prize Presentation Day – Saturday, 8 May 2021

Below is a list of the presenters and their research titles:

  • A clinician-administered screening tool identifies poor recovery in cases of occupational injury with equal accuracy as a worker-completed tool – Dr James Crompton
  • The social and wellbeing impact for international aircrew who experience COVID-19 related restrictions – Dr Hardeep Hundal
  • Systematic review of RCTs assessing the miRNA and DNA methylation changes in individuals exposed to short term traffic related air pollution – Dr Andrew Thomson
  • Return to work after surgical versus physiotherapist-led conservative management of lumbar disc prolapse with radiculopathy – Dr Michael Tombros
  • Social determinants of health and surgical outcomes for chronic lower back pain: A systematic review – Dr Zen Yap: PRIZE WINNER 

Although it was a small group of presenters at this year’s Ramazzini Prize, the AFOEM trainees presented their varied and thought-provoking research very well and responded to questions from the audience confidently. Dr Yap demonstrated strong research and presentation skills and was a deserved winner of the 2021 Ramazzini Prize. 

The presentation day also featured a policy update from Dr Mary Wyatt, 'It pays to care: Bringing evidence-informed practice to work injury schemes helps workers and their workplaces'.

Author acknowledgement
Dr Amanda Sillcock, Dr David Goddard, Dr Mary Wyatt and Dr Andrea James. 

Health Benefits of Good Work webinars 

The Health Benefits of Good Work (HBGW) Signatory Steering Group (SSG) continues to develop webinars on topical issues. 

Save the date for the next HBGW Webinar on Wednesday, 23 June 2021. 

The next webinar will focus on mental wellbeing across the life insurance and superannuation industry. 
Date: Wednesday, 23 June 2021
Time: 1:30pm to 2:30pm AEST

Stay tuned for more details.

AFOEM-led submission to the National Dust Disease Taskforce

The AFOEM Policy & Advocacy Committee continues to lead the RACP’s strong advocacy on accelerated silicosis, in collaboration with the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.

This month, AFOEM provided a submission to the Taskforce’s consultation paper on their draft Vision, Strategies and Priority Areas for Action. This submission provided a range of recommendations on the identified priority areas for action, and practical issues that should be considered in their implementation.

The key recommendation in this submission is calling for the establishment of a lead multi-agency group within the health sector that will have prime responsibility for driving the implementation of the Taskforce recommendations. The group should include representatives from key stakeholders, have clear terms of reference, be properly funded and have a long timeframe to carry on the work of the taskforce.

The Taskforce will provide a final report to the Council of Australian Governments’ Health Council, through the Commonwealth Minister for Health by Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

Aotearoa New Zealand AFOEM membership of The Health and Safety Association of New Zealand

Through the work of the Aotearoa New Zealand AFOEM Committee, the Faculty in Aotearoa New Zealand is now a full member of The Health and Safety Association of New Zealand (HASANZ); the umbrella organisation representing workplace health and safety professions in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

The Committee is working with HASANZ to establish a pathway for individual AFOEM Fellows to join the HASANZ Register, which we hope will be finalised late 2021/early 2022.  As soon as this is available we will let you know.

HASANZ banner imageIn the mean-time, the HASANZ Conference 2021 is available at membership rates, with an additional saving if you catch the earlybird registration before the end of June.

The full program is now available online.

If you have any questions or would like to assist the Committee with this work, please do not hesitate to contact the office via

Dr Geraint Emrys
Chair, Aotearoa New Zealand AFOEM Committee 

COVID-19 vaccines   

On 20 May 2021, Australia recorded the largest single day of 101,146 COVID-19 vaccine doses with a total of over 3.47 million administered. As of 19 May 2021, Aotearoa New Zealand has administered a total of 474,436 COVID-19 vaccine doses.  

We have been concerned about the slow rollout and hesitancy of COVID-19 vaccines and are keen to support the momentum of increasing the uptake of vaccinations.

The RACP urges members to encourage eligible patients to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. To assist you please see below a suite of available resources and information on COVID-19 vaccines:


Aotearoa New Zealand

We regularly share updates and resources including from the Australian Government Department of Health and the Aotearoa New Zealand Ministry of Health on the RACP COVID-19 webpage.

Australian Government Department of Health update to Medicare billing in public hospitals

The Australian Government Department of Health (the Department) has updated its Medicare billing in public hospitals webpage in response to feedback received from peak bodies, including the College. The webpage contains guidance material to strengthen provider education on appropriate Medicare billing in public hospitals. This includes case studies to clarify appropriate referrals following episodes of hospital care and the hospital’s responsibility to undertake any testing required for public patients. The feedback has also informed a new set of FAQs, which provide additional clarity on key points raised in the case studies.

The Department thanks peak bodies and clinicians involved in the revision process. If you have further comments or feedback, please contact the department at

Expressions of Interest: Australian Department of Health seeking RACP representatives on Biotoxin-related Illness Advisory Committee

The Australian Department of Health (DoH) are currently seeking one College representative for the Biotoxin Related Illness Advisory Committee (the Committee), with the DoH determining the final membership.

The DoH is seeking physicians with expertise and experience in the following:

  • general medicine
  • infectious diseases
  • occupational and environmental medicine
  • clinical allergy
  • clinical immunology
  • endocrinology.

The Committee will comprise of representatives from a broad range of allied health and specialist medical fields, as well as consumer representation. Deadline for applications is close of business Wednesday, 9 June 2021.

Learn more

Aged care: RACP recommendations and Federal Budget response to Royal Commission

A feature of the Federal Budget 2021-22 was its response to the 148 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (the Commission). The Budget reflected the Government’s acceptance or acceptance-in-principle of 126 of the Commission’s recommendations and its rejection of six. The remaining recommendations are either under consideration or have been supported in other ways.

College members made strong contributions to the Commission through the College’s 2019 submission and the later 2020 submission impact of COVID-19 on aged care.

Of our 56 recommendations in the 2019 submission, only five were not addressed by the Commission, and five were taken up in less direct ways. With the government’s positive response to the Commission’s recommendations, we anticipate seeing the majority of our recommendations implemented either directly or less directly, which we will monitor.

Some examples of where the Federal Budget has responded to Royal Commission recommendations, consistent with the College’s recommendations, include:

  • improved assessment provisions such as the single assessment process
  • more home care packages
  • improved access to specialists and other health practitioners through multidisciplinary outreach services
  • support to increase the cultural competency of service provider staff, and to address some of the barriers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander older people experience in relation to aged care services
  • funding for Primary Health Networks to provide end-user support for the use of telehealth in residential aged care facilities.

Over the next four years of the Budget’s provisions for aged care, the College will continue to advocate for improvements in aged care services as recommended by our contributing College members.

Virtual screening event for ‘The Advocate’s Journey’ documentary

Thursday, 24 June 2021, 6pm to 8pm (AEST)

Join Dr Robert Lethbridge as he hosts a virtual live screening of ‘The Advocate’s Journey’ mini-documentary series on Thursday, 24 June 2021, 6pm to 8pm (AEST).

In the documentary, Dr Lethbridge sets out to interview well-known physicians who have taken the leap into advocacy and achieved remarkable outcomes from their work. The five short episodes see Dr Lethbridge conduct engaging interviews with Dr Helen Young, Professor Fiona Stanley, Dr Graeme Edwards and other respected advocates and experts. Throughout the screening you’ll gain valuable insights into becoming a physician advocate, engaging key stakeholders, getting issues on the public agenda, and the results of advocacy.

Register now to watch ‘The Advocate’s Journey’ and hear first-hand from Dr Lethbridge about his experiences working on the documentary.

Expressions of Interest: Working Group to develop an Australian Occupational Health Value Proposition

For some time, The Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine (ANZSOM) General Council and Executive have supported the concept of an Australian Occupational Health Value Proposition similar to the United Kingdom’s Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) report developed in May 2017. That report provides a comprehensive analysis, together with an evidence review of the value of occupational health in the United Kingdom. 

ANZSOM plans to develop an Australian Occupational Health Value Proposition to share with our members and engage strategically with stakeholders, such as companies, managers, health, safety and environment (HSE) professionals, other medical professionals and disciplines, government agencies, and workers on the value of occupational health.  

AFOEM has agreed to partner with ANZSOM on this initiative and we are seeking expressions of interest from AFOEM representatives to participate in a working group together with ANZSOM members. Terms of reference for the working group will be developed and the group will be led by Melinda Miller, an ANZSOM Past President. 

The project aims to have a draft report to General Council by November. 

If you are interested in participating please respond via email to by Friday, 4 June.


Watch this short showreel for a sneak preview of what you’ll find on Medflix, home to our extensive collection of powerful and engaging educational videos. The videos are designed to support members with their lifelong learning and professional development needs and cover a range of clinical and professional topics.

Tune in to Medflix to view more and share.

Supervisor Professional Development Program (SPDP): Educational Leadership and Management

We invite you to a supervisor training workshop, SPDP 1: Educational Leadership and Management – specifically for non-clinical members.

The session will be three hours and will cover the following topics:

  • planning and managing for effective supervision
  • feedback in challenging situations
  • supporting training progression.

Date: Thursday, 22 July 2021
Location: Zoom (Virtual)
Time: 6pm to 9pm AEST
Facilitator: Dr David Goddard 
Registration: Register via Zoom before 21 July 2021 (places are limited)

*Please note you will receive an email after registration containing your specific Zoom link to access the workshop.

If you are currently enrolled in the College’s MyCPD program, you can claim credits for this workshop under Category 2, at a rate of three credit points per hour.

For more information about the Supervisor Professional Development Program, visit the College website or contact the Supervisor Learning Support unit at

Evolve ‘Top-5’ recommendations on low-value practices in thoracic medicine

We are pleased to announce that in Lung Health Awareness Month, the latest Evolve ‘Top-5’ recommendations on low-value practices in thoracic medicine were launched.

The new Evolve thoracic recommendations span a range of conditions, ranging from common, such as COPD, to rare, such as sarcoidosis.

These recommendations were developed to reduce key low-value tests and interventions in the practice of thoracic medicine but will be of interest and applicable to care provided by clinicians beyond the specialty. The new recommendations say:

  • Do not perform a D-Dimer in patients at high risk of pulmonary embolism.
  • Do not use long term systemic corticosteroids for management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Do not initiate maintenance inhalers in minimally symptomatic COPD patients with a low risk of exacerbation.
  • Do not routinely follow-up solid pulmonary nodules smaller than 6mm detected in low-risk patients.
  • Do not perform a serum ACE for the diagnosis or monitoring of sarcoidosis.

We ask clinicians to think about how these recommendations are relevant to them. Consider:

  • making the recommendations a routine part of clinical handovers
  • including recommendations in education sessions like grand rounds, workshops, clinical case reviews, team meetings and more
  • undertaking a clinical audit and feedback project on a recommendation
  • discussing the recommendations with referring doctors and your multidisciplinary care team
  • undertaking research on the recommendations.

Read and download the recommendations

If RACP Fellows and trainees want to be more involved in shaping Evolve, consider joining the Evolve Policy Reference Group. The RACP regularly consults, collaborates and partners with Fellows and trainees in the Evolve Policy Reference Group. The group plays an important role in leading and shaping Evolve to make it more relevant and fit-for-purpose. Email to find out more.

Career opportunities

For career opportunities, view all positions vacant on the RACP website.

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. 

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

AFOEM contact details

Member enquiries
(AUS) 1300 69 7227
(NZ) 0508 69 7227

AFOEM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):

AFOEM Executive Officer
Phone: +61 2 8076 6361

AFOEM Health Benefits of Good Work (HBGW) enquiries:

AFOEM Education and Training enquiries:

AFOEM Examination enquiries:
Examination Coordinator, Assessment and Selection Unit

AFOEM training site accreditation inquiries:
Site Accreditation Unit

AFOEM CPD enquiries:
Close overlay