AFOEM eBulletin – 5 April 2019

AFOEM stream at RACP Congress 2019

AFOEM has its own stream at RACP Congress 2019, being held from Monday, 6 May to Wednesday, 8 May 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. 

We are excited to announce that three presentations have recently been confirmed on the AFOEM stream program for Monday, 6 May: 

  • Strengthening cooling tower regulations to protect health in NSW
  • RACP Productivity Commission Submission: Veteran Compensation and Rehabilitation
  • Australia’s current workplace epidemic: Accelerated Silicosis.

To view the program and to register visit the RACP Congress website

A message from your President

As many of us head off to Auckland in just over a month’s time for our annual RACP Congress, those of us from Australia will be travelling to a country changed by the tragic events in Christchurch. I take this opportunity, both personally and on behalf of our Faculty, to add to the expressions of sorrow and support for our colleagues in New Zealand, and for all New Zealanders.  

Our Faculty identifies us as caring for workers’ health; we understand the relationships between health and good work, we manage the physical, social and mental wellbeing of workers and provide medical expertise to organisations to optimise productivity. But as the saying goes, how often do we not see the wood for the trees when it comes to the medical community (doctors, trainees and medical students).  And how can we not see that if we, as a professional body, are not well, it has a direct impact not only on our immediate family and friends but also on the care of our community, the safety of our patients and is an additional burden on the healthcare system. Work should provide us with a sense of self-worth, satisfaction, achievement and ‘joy’. 

Through my participation in the RACP Physician Health and Wellbeing Reference Group I am privileged to be part of a group of energetic, passionate, enthusiastic and committed people which includes RACP staff from Education, Learning and Assessment. I am the Chair of the Group and there are representatives from across the College including Associate Professor Peter Connaughton, our immediate past President. I wanted to let you know that this is a group that is actively engaged in gathering baseline data and developing ways of putting that information into practical methods of addressing potential root causes.  

If you attended Congress 2018 in Sydney, you may remember the Ferguson Glass Oration presented by Dr Blanaid Hayes, then Dean of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine Royal College of Physicians of Ireland who conducted a ‘National study of wellbeing of hospital doctors in Ireland’.  Her paper has recently been published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). 

Thinking back to when I first started to train to become an occupational physician, I remember learning the occupational sieve, the bread and butter of assessing workplace hazards. With advances in technology, the physical, chemical, biological, and ergonomic work environment has improved (although not in all cases considering recent events regarding the epidemic of accelerated silicosis). Whereas there has been an increase in psychological strain and ill health, which parallels an explosion in IT and technological advances, of the fourth stage of the Industrial Revolution (cyber-physical systems).

Solutions to address this issue will need to come from good communication lines, accurate collection of data, collaboration and flexibility, and will vary according to specialty, gender, stage of career whether it be medical student, resident, Fellow, researcher, hospital or private practice.  

Self-help strategies are not the solution. Systemic issues within institutions, organisations and workplaces must be addressed. We need to be mindful of advocating for workplaces that are supportive, non-punitive, nonjudgmental and non-stigmatising and provide appropriate site-specific support mechanisms. Psychological safety at work is important, not only for those we care for but also for ourselves. 

Staff update

I learnt this week that Phillipa Warnes, Faculties Manager will be leaving RACP at the end of April. I would like to thank her, personally and on behalf of the Faculty, for her dedication, professionalism and hard work in supporting our Faculty, with often complex and sometimes challenging issues. I wish her all the best for the future and in her new job where I am sure she will be highly valued.

Dr Beata M Byok
President, AFOEM

AFOEM Annual Training Meeting 2019

The AFOEM Annual Training Meeting (ATM) will be held from Friday, 3 May to Sunday, 5 May 2019, in conjunction with the RACP Congress in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Date: Friday, 3 May to Sunday, 5 May 2019
Venue/Times: Please refer to the program
Tickets: $731.40 per person (NZD)

To view the program and to register visit the RACP Congress website.  

AFOEM Dinner for trainees and Fellows

Date: Sunday, 5 May 2019
Times: 7pm arrival for 7.30pm to 10pm
Tickets: $95 per person (NZD)
Venue: Queens Head Bar & Eatery at Four Points by Sheraton Auckland
Register on the RACP Congress website.

AFOEM will be hosting a joint dinner for AFOEM ATM attendees and the AFOEM Faculty at the Queens Head Bar & Eatery, Four Points by Sheraton Auckland. All AFOEM trainees, Fellows and partners are invited to attend.

Ticket price includes a three course meal with beverages available to purchase at the bar.

AFOEM trainee networking function 

There will be an informal networking opportunity held at The Glass Goose Bar & Eatery on Saturday, 4 May 2019. All AFOEM trainees and partners are invited to attend.

Please note, this is not a ticketed event, all meals and beverage consumed at the function are to be paid by each guest.

For more information about the venue visit their website.

Date: Saturday, 4 May 2019
Times: 5.30pm arrival for 6pm start
Venue: The Glass Goose Bar & Eatery, 78 Federal Street, Auckland
RSVP: If you are planning to attend please advise Anne Chang, RACP Events Administrator, in order for us to confirm seat numbers with the venue. Email or phone  +61 2 8247 6216. 

Draft report of the Specialist and Consultant Physician Consultation Clinical Committee of the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce

Members have recently written to express their interest in the recommendations of the draft report of the Specialist and Consultant Physician Consultation Clinical Committee of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce. The report can be downloaded in full from the Department of Health's website.

The recommendations in this report will have significant implications for the way specialist and consultant physicians work in the future. Accordingly, the RACP Policy and Advocacy team has been inviting member input through various channels and will be developing a submission.

If you have any questions on the report or wish to share any thoughts, please email The external deadline for submissions is Friday, 17 May so Policy and Advocacy is planning on developing a draft response well in advance of this date to share with respondents.

2018 AFOEM Essay Prize

On behalf of the Faculty, we would like to congratulate medical student Mr Jeevan Jangam, for winning the 2018 AFOEM Essay Prize with his essay on climate change and the role of future health professionals.  

Jeevan Jangam is a third year medical student in the Sydney Medical Program at The University of Sydney. During his studies, Jeevan has taken the opportunity to get involved with student societies to advocate for his peers and to raise awareness about key global health issues. With a keen interest in environmental health, he has worked with the global health society to host campaigns and workshops for students with a focus on the impacts of climate change on health. 

Prior to his current studies, Jeevan was a management consultant and has a dual degree in Engineering (Robotics) and Information Technology from the University of Queensland.  He has a passion for technology and hopes to bring together his experiences to develop novel strategies to address some of the challenges faced in medicine.

The National Cancer Screening Register

The National Cancer Screening Register (the Register) is a national electronic infrastructure for the collection, storage and reporting of data for the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP). From November 2019, the Register will begin supporting the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), creating one record per participant for the two programs.

From 2020, the Register will also feature integration with practice management software and online participant and healthcare provider portals.

Learn more on the National Cancer Screening Register's website

Funding available for women's leadership development 

Women & Leadership Australia is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s healthcare sector. 

The initiative is providing women with grants of between $3,000 and $7,000 to enable participation in a range of leadership development programs. 

The scholarship funding is provided with the specific intent of providing powerful and effective development opportunities for healthcare sector women; however the funding is strictly limited and has to be allocated prior to the end of this financial year.

Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form before 7 June.

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.

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.

South Australia

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


  • one position open for Trainee Representative of AFOEM VIC/TAS Regional Committee.

Western Australia

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

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

Expressions of Interest

Check 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):
Lucie Perrissel-Taggart, AFOEM Executive Officer
Phone: +61 2 8076 6351

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:
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