AFPHM eBulletin – 19 October 2018

Dr Gabriella Willis on winning the Gerry Murphy Competition

Last year I participated in the Tasmanian Regional Gerry Murphy Competition and was selected to represent Tasmania at the national event at the RACP Congress. I decided to enter as it was a good opportunity to share some of the work I had been doing with my supervisors and fellow trainees and also to complete one of my oral presentations for AFPHM training. I presented on a dynamic simulation model of alcohol-related harms in Tasmania that I had been involved in the previous year. This was a really interesting and challenging project that introduced me to systems thinking approaches to public health problems. The project was complex and distilling this down to 10 minutes was more difficult than I expected. I decided to focus on the process of building the model, the benefits of systems thinking approaches, and some early insights that the model had revealed. 

I really enjoyed participating in the competition and in particular having the opportunity to attend RACP Congress. I have to admit, I initially thought that the conference would be very clinically focused, but I was impressed by the strong presence of AFPHM Fellows and trainees, and the strong focus on public health issues, particularly climate change and health. I appreciated the opportunity to meet and network with other trainees and Fellows, and to attend the AFPHM Annual General Meeting and the John Snow Scholarship presentations. It’s always good to hear what trainees are up to in other jurisdictions. 

I would encourage trainees to enter the Gerry Murphy competition – it’s a good opportunity to complete an oral presentation for training, to hone your oral presentation skills, to share your work, and to network with the wider AFPHM community. 

Dr Gabriela Willis
National Recipient, 2018 Gerry Murphy Prize

A message from your President

The release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report about attaining 1.5 °C was a wakeup call, as it described the implications for all of us of global average temperatures being 1.5 °C higher than pre-industrial times. This includes losing up to 90 per cent of coral reefs around the world, damage to crops and fisheries, and massive increases in heat waves and other extreme weather events, droughts, and impacts on human systems. The report also contrasted this to 2 °C, which has even greater consequences for humanity, not to mention the 3.5 °C to 4 °C that we are currently heading towards. The report also describes what has to happen in order to maintain warming to 1.5 °C. This requires drastic action across the globe and our future energy mix has little room for fossil fuels, with these needing to be almost completely phased out by 2050, and largely phased out by 2030, a mere 12 years away. 

Apart from being a wakeup call that our government has slept through, it emphasises the importance of the need for our health systems to adapt, and for current and future health practitioners to be fully versed with and prepared for the health impacts of climate change. Our curricula, including medical curricula as well as public health, need to cover climate change and health extensively enough that future health practitioners can understand and respond to these challenges, that, sadly, are inevitable because of humanity’s failure to act quickly enough. On this note I commend the work that former AFPHM President, Professor Lynne Madden, is doing in leading the charge to increase climate change content in the medical curricula around Australia. I also commend our College, which is the leading voice on climate change and health among medical colleges. 

You may have seen the recent segment on ABC’s 7.30 about cases of accelerated silicosis among stonemasons producing engineered stone bench tops. engineered stone bench tops are highly popular in kitchens as they are durable, easy to clean and look attractive. They are, unfortunately, deadly for those who produce them without sufficient respiratory protection, and this is now apparent in young men working in the industry. This is because engineered is around 95 per cent quartz (silica). Through our sister faculty, AFOEM, the RACP has taken a lead in advocating for changes in the industry as well as adequate surveillance for silicosis. While considered to be an occupational health rather than a public health issue, it serves as a grim reminder that changes in human and commercial activity can have consequences for human health, and that we need to ensure that our surveillance and health systems are on the alert and ready to respond.
Associate Professor Linda Selvey
President, AFPHM


Regional Gerry Murphy Competitions

Calling all AFPHM trainees – applications are now open for the 2019 Gerry Murphy Prize in most regions. Check the RACP Website to confirm your regional competition date. 

This is an opportunity of all AFPHM trainees to present and be recognised for their research.
Regional finalists are then selected to represent their region at the national competition during the 2019 RACP Congress.

National competitors will receive:

  • full registration for RACP Congress 2019, held in Auckland from 6 to 8 May 2019
  • return economy airfares for travel to and from your hometown to the 2019 RACP Congress
  • an invitation to the AFPHM Dinner at the 2019 RACP Congress.

The national recipient of the Gerry Murphy Prize receives a certificate signed by the AFPHM President, A$500 and a copy of The People's Health written by Faculty Fellow, Dr Milton Lewis.

For information on eligibility, competition dates and the application process, please visit the Gerry Murphy Prize webpage.

Webinar #8 2018: Not all respiratory mass casualty events are infective

This presentation will provide an overview of the November 2016 Thunderstorm Asthma event in Victoria.

Presenter:  Dr Rod Fawcett 
Date:  Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Time:  1.30pm to 2.30pm AEDT
Location: Online

For information on how to join this webinar, please see the event listing on the RACP website

To watch previous webinars, go to our Youtube playlist.

If you are interested in presenting a future webinar, please contact

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 on: 

Evolve Updates 

Handle antibiotics with care
As part of World Antibiotic Awareness Week (12 to 18 November 2018), RACP Evolve is inviting trainees and Fellows to become Evolve Clinical Champions by pledging their support to reduce unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics. Find out how you can pledge your support by contacting You can also visit the Evolve website for more information

Are you currently planning to undertake research as part of your Advanced Training? The Evolve recommendations offer an opportunity to undertake research in low-value care in specific health priority topics, such as bronchiolitis, antimicrobial stewardship, polypharmacy, high-risk medications and deprescribing.

Bronchiolitis clinical initiative
NSW Health and the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) are currently undertaking a program that aims to address clinical variation in inpatient and emergency department management of bronchiolitis in NSW. It also aims to improve adherence to clinical guidelines and reduce potential harm from unnecessary testing and treatment.

Find out more about the Bronchiolitis Clinical Initiative and other low-value care research opportunities in your specialty by contacting or go to the Evolve website.

Conference opportunities
The RACP has presented on Evolve at:

  • RACP Congress
  • Choosing Wisely Australia National Meeting
  • National Medicines Symposium
  • Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM),
  • Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (SOMANZ)
  • Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) Australian Gastroenterology Week (AGW).

In November, we are looking forward to attending the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT) in Adelaide. 

All Specialty Societies can request the RACP attend their conference to present on Evolve and low-value care and/or host an exhibition booth. For more information and to express interest in RACP attending your conference in 2019, contact  

Managing GORD with PPIs
RACP Evolve supports the NPS MedicineWise education program, which aims to reduce or stop Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) treatment when Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) symptoms are well controlled. Find out more by visiting the NPS MedicineWise website.

How can you raise the reduction of PPI treatment with a patient? Watch RACP President Associate Professor Mark Lane include the GESA Evolve recommendation in a difficult conversation with a patient on the RACP YouTube channel.  

Kids off Nauru Campaign 

The RACP has signed on to the Kids Off Nauru campaign, urging the Australian Parliament to support the immediate transfer of all refugee and asylum seeker children and their families from Nauru to Australia for health reasons. Children and their families need an urgent assessment in a specialist tertiary level child health facility, where their medical, developmental and social-emotional (psychiatric) health can be assessed and treated in accordance with specialist recommendations. 

This campaign was the most successful social media campaign the RACP has conducted, the hash tag trended on twitter and reached over 200,000 people across social media channels. This is based on RACP posts alone and doesn’t include other medical colleges.

Your voice is being heard, physicians are respected members of the community and governments listen to your messages – keep the campaign going and get active on social media. Use the social media kit and poster to join the RACP's calls for #doctorsforasylumseekers. Please also sign the doctors make change petition.

We are encouraging members to write to or meet with your local Member of Parliament (MP) to advocate on this issue. Please use the template letter and Refugee and Asylum Seeker Health Position Statement when writing to your MP. The Tips for meeting with MPs and RACP Advocacy Framework can assist with productive meetings. If you do meet with your local MP, please let us know at

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.

Strengthening CPD

Following the recent release of the Medical Board of Australia’s Professional Performance Framework, a new 2019 MyCPD Framework comes into effect in November 2018.

The simplified Framework strengthens CPD by engaging Fellows in a range of CPD activities from three categories:

  • Educational activities
  • Reviewing performance
  • Measuring outcomes

It is likely you are already completing formal or informal activities that can be claimed in these categories.

To help you understand the changes, we’ve put together a list of common questions and answers, that explain what the changes mean for you and why they’ve been made. You can also download the 2019 Framework online.

Read more

Rebooting CPD podcasts out now

The origins of regulatory changes on the CPD horizon and Fellows first-hand experience of the 'strengthened CPD' approach are the focus of two new Pomegranate Health episodes.

Listen now

Expressions of Interest to the RACP Clinical Ethics Support Working Party

Expressions of Interest are currently being sought for two members (including one trainee member) to join the new Clinical Ethics Support Working Party. The Working Party will also comprise a consumer member and six members of the College Ethics Committee.

Please complete the EOI form and forward with your CV to by Thursday, 1 November 2018.

For more information please visit the EOI webpage.

If you have any enquiries about the Clinical Ethics Support Working Party, please email

Alliance strengthened

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between medical colleges in Australia, New Zealand and Canada is taking their collaborative relationship to the next level by formalising a vision, mission and objectives for future engagement.

Representatives from the Tri-nation Alliance – which comprises of the RACP, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists – signed the MoU in Canada on Tuesday, 16 October.

Read more

RACP survey of Fellows' experience with Health Care Homes 

Stage one of the Australian Government Health Care Homes (HCH) trial commenced in 2017 and will continue until November 2019.

If you work in one of the trial Primary Health Networks of the Department of Health you may receive an invitation shortly from the College to complete this survey. However, any Fellows with experience of or patients in a Health Care Home may respond. This is part of the College’s high profile work on Integrated Care, developing a Model of Integrated Care for patients with multiple chronic conditions. Fellows are strongly encouraged to complete this brief online survey.

The brief online survey will be open until 30 November 2018.

Any questions may be sent 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.

AFPHM contact details

AFPHM Faculty enquiries (including Council and committees):
Rachel Smith, Executive Officer
Phone: +61 2 9256 9622

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

AFPHM Oral Examination enquiries:
Caroline Greenaway, 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
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