AFPHM eBulletin – 17 September 2021

A message from your President

Hello everyone. As I write this post it is RUOK day, and I remain locked down in Canberra – I hope you are all managing through lockdowns and/or the busy workloads managing all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic (as well as all of the usual public health work that continues). 

On Thursday, 30 September we will be launching the ROC, the RACP Online Community, to all College members. The ROC is a great opportunity for us to ask questions, share resources and information, and contact each other. All College members will be registered in the Open Forum, and as some of us took part in the pilot, our own Faculty community will also be launched. These communities are a secure space for us to use. You will also find a list of upcoming events and other Faculty announcements. I encourage you to login to the ROC, get involved and make it an engaging and relevant community for all Faculty members.

For the last several of my posts, I have been reminding you that at least one of the SPDP supervisor workshops must be completed by the end of this year if you wish to continue supervising trainees next year. Our numbers of completions are improving, but still 40 per cent of all supervisors have not yet completed any of the SPDP workshops. Each of these workshops now has a non-clinical variant that is delivered by facilitators from AFPHM or AFOEM – attending either these or the clinical versions is equally acceptable. Please do check the calendar to find workshops happening at times that will work for you. I am also happy to work with you to find a time where I can facilitate a SPDP workshop for a small group. And note that it does not matter which order the workshops are done in.

The abstract submission for the Gerry Murphy Prize regional presentations will close on 30 September 2021. This is a great opportunity for trainees to complete an Oral Presentation Assessment. I encourage all trainees to take the opportunity to present to their region and receive valuable feedback, as well as potentially going forward for the national competition and the associated conference registration and support for attendance (this will be for the Population Health Congress in Adelaide from 20 to 23 September 2022).

Similarly, for those who interact with medical students, the John Snow Scholarship applications are currently open. Please encourage medical students to check out the requirements on the website, both to encourage their engagement with public health medicine and build their presentation skills, as well as generous awards for finalists and the overall winner. Applications close on Tuesday, 12 October 2021.

I know there is considerable angst amongst our Fellows and trainees about the shortage of public health physicians, leading to high workloads and stress. Through the College we are continuing to advocate to government to support training and building the public health medical workforce for the future – but it is slow going. I continue to seek meetings with the state and territory Chief Health Officers (CHOs) (together with the Regional Chairs) to highlight the importance of a well-developed public health medical workforce – but again, that is slow going with the CHOs otherwise occupied with the COVID-19 response. 

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to a very well-developed piece in MJA Insight about the need for a national public health medicine training program – written by two of our outstanding trainees.

All the best

Emeritus Professor Robyn Lucas
AFPHM President

AFPHM monthly webinars

September 2021

For September’s webinar Professor Raina MacIntyre will share her expertise on ‘Pandemic Management’.

Professor Raina MacIntyre (MBBS Hons 1, M App Epid, PhD, FRACP, FAFPHM) is Professor of Global Biosecurity, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales. She leads a research program in control and prevention of infectious diseases, spanning vaccinology, pandemics and emerging infections, and personal protective equipment (PPE). She has done the largest body of clinical research on masks and respirators internationally.

Her area of vaccine expertise is vaccination of older adults and immunosuppressed people, and she has a track record in research on vaccines against measles, influenza, hepatitis A, pneumococcal disease, herpes zoster and smallpox. She has conducted several randomised controlled clinical trials of vaccines and is on the Vaccine Council of 100 for the journal, Vaccine.

She has over 400 peer reviewed publications. She has received many awards including the Sir Henry Wellcome Medal and Prize from the Association of Military Surgeons of the US, the Public Health Association of Australia’s National Immunisation Award (for her research on adult vaccination), and the Frank Fenner Award for Research in Infectious Diseases.

This webinar will be held on Monday, 27 September from 12pm to 1pm AEST (2pm to 3pm NZST). As usual, there will be the opportunity for AFPHM trainees to stay online after the webinar to network.

For more information and to register, please visit the event webpage.

October 2021

For October’s webinar Professor Tony Capon will present his expertise on ‘Sustainable Development and Planetary Health’.

This webinar will be held on Monday, 18 October 2021 from 1pm to 2pm AEDT (3pm to 4pm NZDT).

There will be the opportunity for AFPHM trainees to stay online after the webinar to network. 

To register for the event please visit the event webpage.
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Pomegranate Health Podcast

Ep72: Modelling a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to public attention, like never before, the work of public health physicians as well as epidemiologists, statisticians and computer modelers. The crisis has also shown how hard it is to make decisions affecting the lives of millions when there is so little evidence to go on. Models of viral spread and interventions to mitigate these have become everyday discussion points, but few people understand how hard these are to put together. In this podcast we share expert talks that were presented at RACP Congress in April and May 2021. While they precede the latest developments of the Delta strain and the National Plan to curb it by increasing vaccination rates, they clarify some of the first principles that go into creating these simulations, and the pressures of giving critical public health advice.

Professor Michael Baker FAFPHM (University of Otago) 
Professor Tony Blakely (Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne)
Professor Jodie McVernon FAFPHM (Director of Epidemiology, Doherty Institute)

Subscribe to email alerts or search for ‘Pomegranate Health’ in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, or any podcasting app. Fellows of the RACP can claim CPD credits for listening and learning via MyCPD. For a transcript and further references please visit our website

Listen now

Gerry Murphy Prize

AFPHM Advanced Trainees are encouraged to submit an abstract for the 2022 Gerry Murphy Prize. Trainees across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand have the opportunity to present on public health issues at regional competitions hosted by the AFPHM Regional Committees. The best presenter from each regional event will go on to compete for the Gerry Murphy Prize at the Population Health Congress 2022. 

Applications close Thursday, 30 September 2021. Visit the Gerry Murphy Prize webpage for more details.

John Snow Scholarship

The John Snow Scholarship provides opportunities for medical students to increase their appreciation of public health medicine as a medical specialty and potential career path. Medical students currently enrolled in Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand medical schools are encouraged to apply. 

Selected representatives from each region across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand will be invited to present at a virtual event hosted by the Faculty in 2022, and will receive $250 cash and online registration to the Population Health Congress 2022. The overall winner will receive $1,500 cash. Please see the website for further details. 

Applications close Tuesday, 12 October 2021.

College Medals and Awards

Nominations are now open for the following College and Fellowship Awards. They acknowledge outstanding contributions and achievements made by Fellows and trainees in their respective fields.

We encourage you to nominate for the following medals:

  • The John Sands Medal recognises a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to the welfare of RACP and its members.
  • The College Medal is aligned to the College motto hominum servire saluti. It is awarded to a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to medical specialist practice, healthcare and/or health of community through physician activities.
  • The International Medal recognises a member who has provided outstanding service in developing countries.
  • The Medal for Clinical Service in Rural and Remote Areas recognises a Fellow who has provided outstanding clinical service in rural and remote areas of Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • The Mentor of the Year Award recognises a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to mentoring or provided a high level of support and guidance throughout training.
  • The Trainee of the Year Award recognises a trainee who has made an outstanding contribution to College, community and trainee activities.

Successful nominees are presented a medal at RACP Congress and receive full Congress registration, travel and accommodation.

Full details are available on the RACP Foundation webpage.

CPD requirements for 2021 and 2022

A reminder to Fellows that the annual minimum continuing professional development (CPD) requirement for 2021 and 2022 is 100 credits with each category capped at 60 credits. There is no College requirement to complete activities in all three categories.

Please note that if you are an Aotearoa New Zealand Fellow there are further Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) minimum requirements that have been in place for some years.

The MyCPD Interactive Handbook contains helpful resources that explain the CPD framework and provide achievable audit and peer review ideas. There is also a public health claim example that may provide ideas for possible activities. 

The CPD team welcome any feedback and suggestions on the CPD resources that you would find valuable. Please contact the CPD Team in Australia on 1300 697 227 or and in Aotearoa New Zealand on +64 4 460 8122 or if you have any questions or feedback.

Online Advanced Training Supervisor's Reports are now available. Log in using your RACP ID to complete your online Advanced Training Supervisor's Report today. 

Have you set up your new login yet? If not, follow the instructions on the RACP website, as you will need to set this up for access to all College resources and portals. Our Member Services team is on hand to assist with the process on 1300 697 227.

Workplace Reports (WPR) and Advanced Training Research Projects (ATRP) – AFPHM needs more assessors

We are seeking interest from public health Fellows to join the assessor panel for marking WPRs and ATRPs for Advanced Trainees in public health medicine. Trainees are required to submit at least one WPR or ATRP per year and each require two assessors.

We understand the workload of AFPHM Fellows has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and appreciate any assistance with assessing WPRs and ATRPs. Assessing WPRs and ATRPs can also earn CPD credits.

Please contact us at if you are able to mark any WPRs and ATRPs in the final submission round of 2021.

New RACP video series highlights physicians in remote Australian communities

Practicing rural and remote medicine offers opportunities, career progression and a lifestyle simply not available in Australia’s big cities. Our fascinating new series of short videos 'In our Own Words', about the critical role our Fellows and trainees fulfil in providing healthcare to small towns, the regions and remote Australia, via the Specialist Training Program (STP). 

This month, we’re highlighting the work of Dr Kirsty Neal, General Medicine and Endocrine Specialist and former STP trainee – Alice Springs Hospital.

The STP is a funding initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health. 

There are around 900 STP-funded training positions across Australia, managed by 13 medical colleges. The RACP currently manages around 380 positions. 

With funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health, we’re increasing awareness and understanding of the Program. Our members tell their own stories, what it has meant to them and the communities they serve.  

College 'Are you COVID-19 safe?' member survey now open

Current members practising in Australia will receive a direct email inviting them to complete an internal survey. Now is the time to let us know about the impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant on your workload, workplace safety circumstances and concerns, how the healthcare system is being impacted, and importantly, where the College can direct more support.

The survey is for trainees, Fellows, private and public practitioners. With the de-identified data from the survey, the College will have an evidence base with which to advance our advocacy efforts on members’ safety and protection needs, and associated priority areas, as advised by you. The survey is short and to the point, taking nine to 15 minutes.

Members are advised that an internal report will be prepared using de-identified data only, no individuals will be identified at any stage, and that summary data using de-identified data may be produced for external reporting (for example in the media, to the Australian Government, Commonwealth and State/Territory Departments of Health).

The deadline to complete the survey is close of business Monday, 4 October 2021.For further information or if you did not receive a link to the survey, please email

Evolve Webinar Series September session: Prescribing cascade – Improving the trickle down

Unsafe medication practices and medication errors have been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as leading causes of injury and avoidable harm in healthcare systems across the world. Patient safety is every clinician’s priority.

Join this important session on Tuesday, 21 September 2021from 6pm to 7pm (AEST), 8pm to 9pm (NZST), led by Dr Genevieve Gabb with speakers Professor Jennifer Martin and Dr Chris Cameron, to discuss the common causes of physician induced harm.

Register now

Australian Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori Cultural Competence and Cultural Safety online course

Our self-paced online cultural competence and cultural safety course supports the provision of culturally competent and culturally safe, best practice medicine for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori patients. The course facilitates reflection on our own cultural values so that we can recognise their influence on our professional practice, while also exploring how cultural safety principles can be applied to improve Indigenous patient health outcomes and experience of care.

Developed by experts and RACP Fellows, this adaptable course features a mix of in-depth content, video scenarios, reflection and discussion activities and recommended supporting materials.

New online course: Specialist Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

This new self-paced online course has been designed to help physicians and trainees to better understand the RACP’s Medical Specialist Access Framework and take steps to apply its principles in their daily practice, with the aim of addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s inequitable access to specialist healthcare by connecting stakeholders involved in delivering specialist medical care. The course focuses on steps that individual practitioners can take, highlighting successful case studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people accessing specialist care.

New FAQs on ethical relationships between health professionals and industry

The Ethics Committee has developed a set of FAQs to address ethical issues physicians commonly encounter in their relationships with industry covering the following topics:

  • meeting with drug representatives
  • speaking at a pharmaceutical company sponsored event
  • funding from a pharmaceutical company to attend a conference
  • pharmaceutical sponsorship for clinical meeting or grand round
  • funding from a pharmaceutical company to conduct or participate in research
  • invitation to be a member of a pharmaceutical company advisory board.

These FAQs are based on and complement the RACP Guidelines for ethical relationships between health professionals and industry.

Discover your world of benefits with Commercial Pricing

Whether you’re refreshing your wardrobe or searching for a special gift, the Member Advantage portal is your one-stop shop. Save on a curated selection of brands like Myer, The Iconic, Country Road, Sunglass Hut and many more.

Plus, through your membership you can access commercial pricing and discounts from The Good Guys and JB HiFi for all your white-goods, electronic and small appliance needs. Not only do you receive special pricing in real-time, you’ll also get the advantage of personalised customer service, delivery and more.

Learn more about all your benefits through your Member Advantage platform in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.

If you need assistance activating your benefits account, contact the customer care team on 1300 853 352.

Useful 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:

Career opportunities 

For career opportunities, please see the College website to view all medical positions vacant.

Events and conferences

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.

AFPHM contact details

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

AFPHM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):

Eva Kosinski, Executive Officer

Public Health Learning Advisor:
Jennifer Desrosiers

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:
Professional Practice
Phone: +61 2 8247 6285

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

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