AFPHM eBulletin - 7 February 2020

Australia Day Honours – congratulations Professor Peter McIntyre AO

The Faculty would like to congratulate Professor Peter McIntyre FRACP, FAFPHM, who was named an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2020 Australia Day Honours. Professor McIntyre was awarded this for his distinguished service to public health and medicine in Australia and overseas. Professor McIntyre has made a positive impact to child and adolescent health, particularly in preventing diseases through his work in immunisation. Congratulations Professor McIntyre for this well-deserved recognition.

For the full list of RACP member 2020 Australia Day Honour recipients visit the RACP website

A message from your President

In recent months there have been two major and largely unexpected public health events affecting Australia, both of which are ongoing. I’m sure you don’t need me to spell them out – the bushfire crisis and the Novel Coronavirus outbreak in China. I know that many members will have been affected by these events, and my thoughts are with you. 

Both of these events require ongoing public health responses in which public health physicians are playing a prominent role. It is reassuring that our training program has trained highly skilled public health practitioners who are well equipped to lead the response to these events. However, when the dust (or smoke) settles, it would be worthwhile to consider whether our training program continues to be fit for purpose for such events. We certainly know that we don’t have enough evidence in order to make a completely informed response to either event, and over time, research and experience will emerge that will inform responses to future events.

It is also worth reflecting on our preparedness and response to both events. We are well-practiced in responding to infectious disease outbreaks and have pandemic plans that are regularly exercised and reviewed. Our recent experience with Influenza H1N1(2009) and subsequent evaluation has informed the response to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. 

Were we as well prepared for the bushfire crisis? The rate of injury and loss of life from the devastating fires was remarkably low given the extent and severity of the fires, and this reflects a high level of preparedness and willingness to leave on the part of people in fire zones as well as the amazing commitment and skill of first responders and fire services. However, in spite of predictions by climate scientists as long as 40 years ago, we were not prepared for the extent and severity of these fires. Our rural fire services were insufficiently resourced, we didn’t have sufficient aerial fire-fighting capacity, and we were not well-positioned to give timely health advice to the public about prolonged smoke exposure.

This highlights that we are not prepared for the climate crisis that is upon us. As a community we haven’t invested sufficiently in either mitigation or adaptation. Given that the global average temperature is predicted to rise by at least 1.5°C within the next decade, we clearly need to do more to prepare, while at the same time drastically reducing our emissions. In order to prepare, we need to assess the risks. Conducting vulnerability and adaptation assessments at a local level is a good first step, and activities to adapt must follow. There is much to be done, and the time to start is now! 

Associate Professor Linda Selvey
AFPHM President


Important message for Australian members

The National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will be publishing an advance copy of the revised mandatory notification guidelines and supporting resources.

The Guidelines: Mandatory notifications about registered health practitioners and Guidelines: Mandatory notifications about registered students provide information about how to meet mandatory notification requirements. The guidelines aim to help practitioners, employers and education providers understand who must make a mandatory notification about a registered health practitioner or registered student and when.

Summary of changes

The guidelines were revised following amendments to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law passed early in 2019 and is expected to commence in early March 2020. 

The amendments changed the reporting obligations for treating practitioners by establishing a new, higher risk threshold for treating practitioners to report impairment, intoxication or practice that significantly departs from accepted standards. This further limits the circumstances for treating practitioners to make mandatory notifications. These changes aim to give practitioners confidence to seek help for health conditions if they need it, while continuing to prevent the risk of harm to the public. 

The requirement to make a mandatory notification about a practitioner is different for different notifier groups. For that reason, the guidelines about practitioners have been structured according to notifier type (that is treating practitioner, non-treating practitioner, employer) so that relevant information for that notifier group is easier to find.

As there are only limited circumstances when a mandatory notification can be made about a student, separate guidelines for notifications about students and practitioners have been developed.

You can find information and resources such as case studies and FAQs on the AHPRA website

The Australian bushfires

As the bushfires and hot weather continue, our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this unprecedented disaster. Your College released a media statement on the bushfires last month and we recognise that the full extent of the health impacts are not yet known.

We’ve had many members contacting us to ask how they can help. We encourage members who can assist to contact the relevant rural doctors’ organisation coordinating your state’s health workforce response.

For more information, please visit these websites: 

How to protect yourself and others from bushfire smoke

In response to the recent bushfires, the Australian National University (ANU) has put together some useful material for protecting yourself and others from bushfire smoke.

Further details are available on the ANU website.

Podcast: ‘Why Public Health is the answer to almost everything’

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has released a podcast on Radio National which may be of interest to you. This was presented by the Australian Public Health Conference 2019.

Listen to this podcast

AFPHM Value Proposition and Narrative Toolkit

The AFPHM Council has finalised the AFPHM Value Proposition and Faculty Narrative – Marketing and Communications Toolkit for members to use when communicating to stakeholders. This is a set of tools designed to be used in conjunction with one another or individually to support AFPHM members in raising the specialty profile. Please contact the Faculty Office via if you would like further details regarding this.

The AFPHM stream at Congress 2020

You’re invited to one of the premier annual events on the RACP calendar, Congress 2020: Balancing medical science with humanity. Held on Monday, 4 to Wednesday, 6 May in Melbourne, we’ve developed an immense program filled with a diverse range of local and international speakers.

The program includes shared-interest topics and a dedicated AFPHM stream for all public health members, which explores global health security and populism. 

You can hear the latest research that our public health trainees and medical students have been involved in during the Gerry Murphy Prize and John Snow Scholarship sessions.

This is a unique networking opportunity for you to meet members of the Faculty, as well as members from the broader College, while learning about a diverse range of clinical and public health topics. For more information and to register, visit the Congress website. Hurry, early-bird rates only available until 3 March 2020.

Trainee re-registrations due

A reminder that registrations for Basic Trainees for the Australian 2020 clinical year close Friday, 28 February 2020.

As a trainee, you must re-register your training annually.

New Zealand registrations have now closed.

For more information check your relevant handbook or contact us.

Register now – AFPHM Members Dinner

All members are invited to the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine’s (AFPHM) Members Dinner, to be held in Melbourne prior to RACP Congress on Sunday, 3 May 2020. This is an opportunity for you to meet and enjoy a meal with other members of the Faculty.

Date: Sunday, 3 May 2019
Time: 6.30pm to 10.30pm
Tickets: $98 (AUD) per person
Venue: Crowne Plaza Melbourne

Further details are available on the RACP Congress ancillary events website.

Educational Development (Study) Grants

Applications are opening soon for 2020 RACP Educational Development (Study) Grants worth up to $10,000. 

Awards available for this round include:

  • Aotearoa New Zealand Educational Development Grant
  • Queensland Regional Committee Educational Development Grant
  • Eric Burnard Fellowship
  • Richard Kemp Memorial Fellowship.

Submit your applications online from Friday, 21 February to Monday, 23 March 2020. Information about this award including eligibility criteria and the link to the online application form is available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

Taking further action on outdoor alcohol advertising

Alcohol is one of the most harmful yet most heavily promoted products in the world. Evidence clearly shows that young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing increases their alcohol consumption as well as the risk of starting to drink at a younger age. WHO recommends bans or comprehensive restrictions on alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotion to reduce alcohol use and harm.

Market research indicates that 92.6 per cent of consumers are exposed to outdoor advertising at least once per day and that three out of five shoppers are influenced by outdoor marketing immediately prior to shopping. This form of marketing is extremely influential and therefore acutely harmful, especially for young people. 

As highlighted in the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education’s Snapshot of the current state of play, most Australian jurisdictions have introduced some controls on outdoor alcohol advertising. While these restrictions work to limit exposure, they are not comprehensive enough to prevent children and young people from viewing all outdoor alcohol advertising.

Current restrictions need to be strengthened by legislating bans or more comprehensive restrictions and introducing sanctions and monitoring and enforcement mechanisms. The RACP’s Alcohol Policy supports the three options proposed by the Foundation to remedy this policy shortcoming:

  • ban on all outdoor alcohol advertising and sponsorship across the jurisdiction
  • ban on all outdoor alcohol advertising and ban on sponsorship at all family-friendly events
  • ban on outdoor alcohol advertising on government-owned assets and public transport infrastructure. 

More about these policy options is available on the Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia's website.  

Improving clinical case management, infection prevention and control of Clostridioides difficile infection

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care supports health service organisations in implementing effective infection prevention and control strategies to reduce the risk of patients acquiring preventable healthcare-associated infections. In 2016 the Commission established a Community of Practice to investigate what future measures would support maintaining low rates of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) in Australia. The Commission continues to monitor the prevalence of CDI in Australian public hospitals annually and has recently published the Clostridium difficile 2017 Data Snapshot report along with an associated Infographic. The Community of Practice also made several recommendations relating to the surveillance and management of CDI in Australia which can be found in the 2018 technical report: A Model to Improve Prevention  and Control of  Clostridium difficile infection in Australia.

Congratulations RACP GlaxoSmithKline Research Establishment Fellowship Recipient

Congratulations to Dr Katherine Gibney, the recipient of the 2020 RACP GlaxoSmithKline Research Establishment Fellowship for the project ‘Invasive group A streptococcal disease (iGAS): Establishing an evidence-base for public health guidelines.

Dr Gibney has combined her public health, epidemiology and clinical infectious disease experience to her research involving high-risk groups (Indigenous Australians, immigrants and refugees, and travellers), communicable disease surveillance, arboviral infections and Strep A disease. As both an infectious diseases and public health physician (FRACP, FAFPHM), she brings clinical and public health perspectives to her infectious diseases research. Her further training through the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) fellowship at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides an additional applied epidemiology perspective to her research. This was followed by a PhD at Monash University (2016). Her thesis, ‘Surveillance and burden of infectious diseases in Australia’, was awarded a commendation in the Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research. Dr Gibney works in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Austin Hospital and is an National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Early Career Fellow at the Doherty Institute.

Quality and safety resources for members

Quality and safety is central to the delivery of healthcare in Australia and New Zealand. We offer a number of resources to help you create a culture of quality and safety in your healthcare setting. Register for the Quality and Safety online course to learn about developing a preventative mindset and identifying and remediating situations where the quality and safety of patient care may be compromised. Refer to the Quality and Safety Curated Collection for a peer-reviewed list of high quality resources on the topic. Or to learn about strategies for communicating effectively with patients about the risks and benefits of treatment options, enrol in the Communicating Risks and Benefits online course.

RACP Online Learning resources are free for members and count towards Continuing Professional Development requirements.

Webinar: Registering and uploading records to My Health Record

My Health Record is a secure online summary of an individual's health information available to all Australians. Healthcare providers authorised by their organisation can access My Health Record to view and add to their patients' health information. Understanding how to register and upload to My Health Record can be challenging. Join Professor Steven Boyages as he interviews Carey Doolan from the Australian Digital Health Agency to provide practical advice to help you register and upload to My Health Record.

Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation email about how to join the webinar.

Register now

New Pomegranate podcast: Ep55: Starting out in practice

This podcast is about one of many pathways in medicine; private practice. It’s a pathway that presents many opportunities, but also personal and financial challenges. When doctors are starting out in private practice, they typically do so within the safety net of an established practice, and perhaps only for part of the working week. In a simple model, they would be renting a room in exchange for an agreed portion of the consultation fees to cover administration costs.

The next level of complexity is setting up shop for one's self, and this requires registering a company in order to employ other staff. Finally, one can partner in a group practice, which may bring efficiencies of scale, but potentially also personality clashes with other shareholders.

And behind all of this, there is the need to build awareness and trust among the patient community. In this podcast we hear the experiences of a private rheumatologist practising for 25 years, as well as learning about accounting and financial planning. 


  • Dr Louis McGuigan FRACP, Consultant Rheumatologist, Miranda
  • Paul Copeland, Director, William Buck Chartered Accountants
  • Scott Montefiore, Managing Director Hillross Montefiore and Co.

Fellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits via MyCPD for listening to this episode and reading the resources.

Subscribe to Pomegranate Health in Apple iTunesSpotify or any Android podcasting app.

Listen to podcast

The Tri-Nation Alliance International Medical Symposium

Register for the Tri-Nation Alliance International Medical Symposium (IMS), on 'Providing care to underserved populations'. The symposium will be held on Friday, 20 March 2020 at the Amora Hotel in Sydney.

This annual event provides a great opportunity to share the latest insights in higher medical education. The program will explore how best to train, prepare and retain medical specialists to care for underserved populations in Australia, New Zealand and Canada due to isolation, geographical location or many other social determinants and how innovative technologies can enhance their access to healthcare.

Keynote speakers include Professor Roger Strasser, formerly Dean of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, an expert renowned for promoting the importance of socially accountable medical education to serve communities and Dr Lisa Richardson, Faculty of Medicine Strategic Advisor, Indigenous Health at the University of Toronto, an expert in urban underserved populations in Canada. Professor Diane Sarfati, a public health physician and cancer epidemiologist from the University of Otago with expertise in the area of ethnic disparities in disease outcomes and Dr Belinda O’Sullivan, a researcher leading international scale studies on rural health systems, from the University of Queensland Rural Clinical School will provide the other keynote presentations. 

Other sessions will provide interesting insights into education and training to support access to care from Associate Professor Elana Curtis, a public health physician from the University of Auckland. The Chair of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Rural Surgery Section Committee, Dr Bridget Clancy, an ENT surgeon based in rural Victoria, will also provide interesting perspectives on meeting the challenges of practice for rural and underserved populations.   

More information is available on the IMS website.

The member colleges of the Tri-Nation Alliance are the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

Apply now for the Keeling Curve Prize

The Keeling Curve Prize is accepting applications for the prize from innovative climate change solutions in the areas of Capture & Utilization, Energy, Finance, Social & Cultural Pathways, and Transport & Mobility. Each year the Keeling Curve Prize gives out 10 awards of $25,000 each. For more information, please visit the prize website.  

Deadline: 10 February 2020

Member Advantage benefits on offer

Start the year with an exclusive AMEX welcome bonus

Enjoy a specially negotiated welcome offer of 100,000 bonus membership rewards points and reduced annual fee of $1,200 simply through your RACP benefits.

Apply today for The Professionals American Express® Platinum Card for highlights including:

  • $450 Travel Credit each year
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Make life easier and start turning your dream holiday into a reality with all these offers and more. Now add up to four additional Platinum Cards to enjoy many of the same benefits you do, for no extra fee.

Apply for your card online or call 1300 853 352 for more information.

*Terms and conditions, eligibility criteria and minimum spend apply. 

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If you are looking to transfer money overseas, OFX can help you save money with bank beating exchange rates and $0 OFX transfer fees* through your benefits.

OFX is an ASX listed company, providing fast and secure international money transfers for private clients and business customers, with 24/7 support. Since launching over 20 years ago, OFX have helped more than 1 million customers worldwide and securely transferred over AU$100bn.

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National lung cancer screening program

Cancer Australia is investigating the feasibility for a national lung cancer screening program for people at high risk of lung cancer. The consultation is being hosted on the Department of Health’s Consultation Hub until Monday, 17 February 2020.

You are invited to provide your input into the Consultation Hub. The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete and submissions can also be attached.

For more information about the Lung Cancer Screening enquiry, please visit the Cancer Australia website.

Medical Board of Australia Newsletter January 2020

Read the latest news from the Medical Board of Australia.

AFPHM training resources

A reminder to all AFPHM trainees, the following resources are available for your training:

Other resources you may be interested in, include:

2019 Novel Coronavirus: A Physician's Guide from the American College of Physicans

The American College of Physicians (ACP) has developed educational resources that are freely available to the healthcare community as a public service from ACP in response to the coronavirus outbreak, including:

  • Novel Coronavirus: A Physician's Guide – an online learning activity providing a clinical overview of infection control and patient care guidance
  • Coronavirus: What the clinician needs to know podcast.
Access resources

Seeking AFPHM representatives for committees

Are you willing to represent your colleagues and be a voice for the Faculty? Would you like to be part of creating positive change within the Faculty? 

The Faculty is currently seeking Expressions of Interest for the following positions: 

  • AFPHM Council
    The AFPHM Council invites Fellows who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and/or Māori to submit an Expression of Interest to join the AFPHM Council. This is a chance to advocate for and support AFPHM members across Australia and New Zealand. Please contact for further details.
  • Members, AFPHM Regional Committees
    If you are interested in supporting and advocating for your local colleagues within the Faculty, please consider submitting an Expression of Interest form and your CV to, for one of the vacant member or Chair positions on your local AFPHM Regional Committee.
  • AFPHM Northern Territory Regional Education Coordinator
    This is an opportunity for AFPHM Fellows residing in the Northern Territory to further their leadership experience by supporting local trainees, supervisors and mentors through the AFPHM Training Program. Please submit an Expression of Interest form and your CV to if you are interested in applying for this position.

Accredited AFPHM training positions

As a part of the AFPHM training program, trainees are expected to complete their core training in an AFPHM accredited training position.

A list of accredited AFPHM training positions is available on the RACP website.

Expression 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

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 other events are coming up.

AFPHM contact details

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

AFPHM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):

Rachel Smith, Executive Officer
Phone: +61 2 9256 9622

AFPHM Education and Training enquiries:
Education Officer
Phone: +61 2 8247 6286

AFPHM Oral Examination enquiries:
Examination Coordinator, Assessment and Selection Unit
Phone: +61 2 9256 9681

AFPHM training site accreditation inquiries:
Site Accreditation Unit

Phone: +61 2 9256 9674

AFPHM CPD enquiries:
Office of the Dean (CPD)
Phone: +61 2 8247 6285

AFPHM New Zealand enquiries:
RACP New Zealand Office
Phone: +64 4 472 6713

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