AFPHM eBulletin – 28 June 2019

AFPHM National Training Days

Forty AFPHM trainees attended the 2019 AFPHM National Training Days at the RACP Melbourne Office on Saturday and Sunday, 15 and 16 June 2019. This event featured a number of experts in the public health field and explored topics such as ‘hepatitis C elimination’, ‘whole genome sequencing’, ‘climate change and health’ and ‘pill testing at music festivals’.

Trainees received valuable advice from AFPHM physicians during the ‘public health careers’ panel discussion’ and were given tips on how to best prepare for the AFPHM Examination in a workshop with two of our public health physicians. 

The Faculty would like to thank the AFPHM National Training Days Organising Committee: Dr Tony Gill, Dr Katherine Ong, Dr Simon Crouch and Dr Michelle Gooey, for putting together an interesting and thought-provoking program for our AFPHM trainees. Thank you also to the AFPHM trainees who attended the National Training Days, we hope you enjoyed the event.

A message from your President

Following the inaugural Global Health Security Conference in Sydney recently, AFPHM hosted a meeting of health leaders from Pacific Island countries with a view to developing a plan for how AFPHM members can work with Pacific Island countries to improve the health of people in the Pacific. The Pacific Commumity, with whom the RACP has a Memorandum of Understanding, supported the attendance of the Pacific health leaders at the meeting and the conference. We were very fortunate to have the outgoing and in-coming Presidents of the Pacific Public Health Association as active participants in the meeting. It was a very fruitful meeting. We agreed to pursue work in a number of areas including placements for Pacific trainees in Australia and New Zealand, support for public health research in the Pacific, and support to form and govern a Pacific College of Public Health Medicine. There will be plenty of opportunities for interested AFPHM members to be involved and I look forward to sharing more information with you after the meeting report becomes available. 

We recently had our first face-to-face AFPHM Council meeting for 2019. This was an opportunity to review our workplan and work out next steps to progress some items. We also discussed the RACP curriculum renewal process, and the timelines for AFPHM’s curriculum renewal. This will be a major piece of work for the Faculty Education Committee over the next couple of years, with new content to be developed by 2021. 

Following on from last month’s eBulletin, further information to support AFPHM Fellows in meeting the new CPD requirements is being provided in this month’s eBulletin.

As yet we don’t have final advice on the outcomes of the Commonwealth Department of Health’s deliberations about the future of the Specialist Training Program positions that were under review but expect to have this information soon. 

Associate Professor Linda Selvey
President, AFPHM

Webinar #6 2019: Infectious diseases

Dr Jeremy McAnulty, the Director of Health Protection NSW, will draw upon his experience of working with communicable diseases to demonstrate effective management of infectious diseases in public health. Dr McAnulty will also discuss various control measures for infectious diseases and what to do in the event of an outbreak. 

Presenter:  Dr Jeremy McAnulty 
Date:  Tuesday, 30 July 2019
Time:  3pm AEST
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

Nominations now open for the RACP Trainee Board Director

A casual vacancy is available for the position of RACP Trainee Board Director.

The successful candidate for the Trainee Director position is appointed by the Board and will fill the position until the conclusion of the College’s Annual General Meeting in May 2020.

Visit the website for eligibility criteria and nomination details.

Nominations close on Monday, 8 July.

All eligible trainees are encouraged to nominate.

Suggestions from public health physicians on meeting the changes in the 2019 MyCPD framework

Important changes to the MyCPD framework came into effect in January 2019 that will affect all physicians. These changes are in response to requirements flagged by the Medical Board of Australia.

This update on the changes provides:

  • a link to an expanded list of example activities for the MyCPD framework that includes a greater number of non-clinical examples, many of which were suggested by public health physicians
  • a plan to meet these new requirements has been suggested by public health physicians in consultation with the CPD unit. The plan provides examples you will need to adapt to your own circumstances. There are also AFPHM specific ‘frequently asked questions’ and a range of resources
  • a new set of non-clinical example activities that will meet categories two and three.

Upcoming continuing professional development (MyCPD) sessions

Two separate MyCPD information sessions in Canberra and Sydney are being held to help you understand what the changes mean for you and why we have made them. There will also be opportunities to ask any questions you may have and speak directly to a member of our CPD team. The Canberra session will be held on Wednesday, 31 July from 6pm to 7.30pm and the Sydney session will be held the following week on Thursday, 25 July from 6pm to 7.30pm. 

To find out more, visit our event pages: CanberraSydney.

The CPD team is happy to answer any questions you may have, please don’t hesitate to contact us on the details below.

Phone: 1300 697 227
Overseas: +61 2 9256 5444 

New Zealand
Phone: 4 460 8122
Overseas: +64 4 460 8122 

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: 

Represent the College on the Australian Gun Safety Alliance

The RACP joined the Australian Gun Safety Alliance earlier this year and we are now seeking a member to represent the RACP on the Alliance.

The Alliance's objectives are to:

  • ensure a safer community for Australian children 
  • have all jurisdictions comply with the National Firearms Agreement 
  • increase public awareness of the poor compliance by all Governments 
  • hold governments to account for their non-compliance
  • contribute to a balanced public conversation about the importance of a strong gun safety framework. 

The Alliance counts the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM), the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) and the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) amongst its current supporters.

The Alliance holds quarterly teleconferences for about one hour and has ad hoc special interest groups which meet at the convenience of interested members.

If you are interested to represent the College on the Alliance, please email your CV and some information about your interest and expertise in the area of gun safety to by Friday, 5 July 2019.

2019 QLD Fellows’ and trainees’ forum

All Queensland Fellows and trainees are invited to the 2019 Queensland Fellows’ and trainees’ forum on Saturday, 29 June at the Queensland Children’s Hospital in South Brisbane. 
This free member event is presented by the RACP Queensland Regional Committee. 
Topics include: 

  • financial wellbeing: tax efficiency and reducing financial stress
  • medico legal
  • clinical ethics
  • medical stewardship.

For more information and to register please visit the event webpage

Come and meet your College Board on 11 July at Westmead Hospital

You are invited to join RACP President, Associate Professor Mark Lane and your RACP Board at an informal meeting where you will have the opportunity to engage in conversation and network with other Fellows and trainees.

When: Thursday, 11 July 2019 from 6.15pm to 7.15pm with refreshments being served from 5.30pm.
Where: The Green Room, Level 1 next to the Westmead Education and Conference Centre at Westmead Hospital, Corner Hawkesbury Road and Darcy Road, Westmead NSW 2145.
Spaces are limited, so please RSVP by close of business on Thursday, 4 July 2019 to

This is an open invitation for RACP trainees and Fellows, so please feel free to share this within your network. A summary of previous Conversations with the Board events can be found through the following links:

Regrettably the College is unable to provide support for travel and accommodation for this event.

New Pomegranate Health podcast episodes now available

Episode 46: The first 1000 days

This episode was recorded at the RACP Congress 2019 in Auckland. The three speakers dealt with the profound influence that the early years of life have on lifelong health, wellbeing, behaviour and socioeconomic outcomes. 

Professor Richie Poulton CNZM FRSNZ outlined the influential Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has followed over 1,037 participants since 1972. All sorts of measures have been taken throughout the participants’ lives, but Professor Poulton showed the incredible predictive power of one behavioural trait in particular: self-control. 

Paediatrician Dr Johan Morreau FRACP revealed how such associations between childhood deprivation and behavioural outcomes might be explained by developmental neuroscience, and public health physician Professor Susan Morton FAFPHM showed evidence from the Growing Up in New Zealand Study which reveals the importance of social factors in protecting against poor outcomes. 

Together, these speakers demonstrated that the consequences of childhood disadvantage are borne not just by individuals and families but by all of society. The lectures were framed by the launch of the RACP early childhood position statement titled 'The Importance of the Early Years' and another released last year on 'Inequities in Child Health'. 

Episode 47: Complex adolescent transitions

Everyone knows that adolescence is a turbulent time. Teens are faced not just with changes to their bodies, but to their moods and thought patterns as well. They might also be saying goodbye to familiar carers in the paediatric department, and in episode 11 we heard how important it is to ensure a smooth transition to adult services, which tend to be more anonymous. 

This is especially true for young people with special needs such as diabetes, transplant management or intellectual disability, though they are the least likely to receive dedicated transition support. The three speakers in this podcast explain that improving this transition process doesn’t require going way above and beyond regular practice, it just needs a little more coordination. 

Recorded at the RACP Congress 2019, Dr Fran Mouat outlined Starship’s transition program for young patients with diabetes, and some of the data showing its impact on glycaemic control after they’ve left paediatric care. 

Dr Rachael Harry leads a transition program for adolescents who’ve undergone transplants early in life. With a moving case study, she described how all the medical care in the world needs to fit in with the lifestyle that every young adult aspires to.

Finally, Dr Colette Muir, described what this period is like for adolescents with developmental disabilities. Intellectual disability is associated with a lower quality of care throughout the lifespan, often because of 'diagnostic overshadowing' – the phenomenon by which the complaints of such patients get attributed to the disability itself, rather than being investigated thoroughly in their own right. 

The RACP is a signatory to an international consensus statement called 'Equally Well', and has also published a position paper about transition of young people with chronic disability needs

RACP Congress 2019 session recordings

Presentation videos of selected sessions from RACP Congress 2019 are now available. You are also able to view all presentation slides. Selected sessions and slides have only been released where approval has been given by the presenters.

We are now planning for RACP Congress 2020, view the RACP Congress 2020 video. We look forward to seeing you in Melbourne on Monday, 4 May to Wednesday, 6 May 2020. 

Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is pleased to announce the release of the revised Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2019) (the guidelines). 

These have been produced by NHMRC in collaboration with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, to ensure they reflect the latest national and international evidence on infection prevention and control. 

Effective infection prevention and control is central to providing high quality healthcare for patients and a safe working environment for those who work in healthcare settings. The guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations that outline the critical aspects of infection prevention and control, focusing on core principles and priority areas for action. 

The guidelines are for use by all working in healthcare – including healthcare workers, management and support staff. They provide a risk-management framework to ensure the basic principles of infection prevention and control can be applied to a wide range of healthcare settings. The level of risk may differ in different types of healthcare facilities; risk assessments are encouraged as part of the decision making and use of guideline recommendations. When implementing these recommendations all healthcare facilities need to consider the risk of transmission of infection and implement according to their specific setting and circumstances.

For further information on the review please visit the NHMRC Preventing Infection webpage.

Clinical documents in My Health Record explained 

The Australian Digital Health Agency will be holding a national webinar for all healthcare providers, 'Clinical documents in My Health Record explained'.

This webinar will provide insights into the types of provider clinical documents that can be found in an individual’s My Health Record, highlighting the origins and accessibility to different document types as well as clarifying common ambiguities. Areas covered include: 

  • shared health summaries vs event summaries
  • prescription and dispense records vs Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines
  • medicines information view – pharmaceutical shared medicines list (PSML)
  • pathology and diagnostic imaging
  • specialist letters
  • eReferrals
  • Medicare documents
  • advanced care plan and advanced care document custodian.

Webinar details:  

  • date and time: 1pm to 2pm (AEST time) on Thursday, 18 July 2019
  • join via your computer – register beforehand on the event webpage, registrations close 24 hours prior to the event
  • a copy of the presentation will be made available following the event to individuals who have registered to attend the webinar.

Medico Legal: A physicians update 

Worried about legal matters but don’t know where to turn? As we move through the technology era, social media and online interaction is evolving to play a huge part in the way we interact with patients and other professionals. In addition to this, physicians continue to face legal issues in both civil and disciplinary matters. Join us in Sydney on Saturday, 29 June from 9.30am to 12pm for an informative and insightful workshop in collaboration with Avant Mutual. You’ll be able to learn about your legal and professional obligations from our experienced speakers. 

To find out more visit the event webpage.

Research award applications closing soon

If you are seeking support to undertake research, do not miss out on the different awards and grants offered through the RACP Foundation. Applications close soon for the following categories:

Full details for these and other opportunities are available on the Foundation webpage

Recognising outstanding contributions and achievements

Hominum servire saluti – to serve the health of our people.

The annual awards for outstanding contributions made by members of the RACP in their respective fields are of special importance and highly valued by their recipients. Our College and the broader medical community benefit in many different ways and in recognition of this, the criteria for The John Sands Medal and The College Medal have changed to clearly define these differences.

Nominations are now open for:

  • the John Sands Medal, recognising a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to the welfare of the RACP and its members
  • the College Medal, recognising a Fellow who makes a significant contribution to medical specialist practice and improving the health of people
  • the Howard Williams Medal, recognising a Fellow who has made an outstanding contribution to improving the health of children and young people in Australia or New Zealand.

Applications for this year’s Trainee Research Awards open on 1 July 2019. The Trainee Research Awards provide a wonderful opportunity for trainees to do an oral presentation of their research at a regional event and if selected, also present at the RACP Congress 2020 in Melbourne in May.

For further details on our medals and prizes, please visit the Foundation webpage.

RACP Policy & Advocacy Council communique and report 

At the College Policy & Advocacy Council meeting held in May, a bi-annual report of the College’s policy and advocacy activity was released. The meeting communique is available on the College website. 

The report contains detailed updates on policy priorities, which includes both CPAC led items and Divisions, Faculties, Chapters and regional activity.

Be on your way sooner with Member Advantage 

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With access to Australia’s largest car buying service you can save up to 20 per cent off dealer prices plus other exclusive benefits including:

  • personalised service to help you choose the right car
  • delivery to your door with a full tank of fuel
  • 12 months roadside assistance.

Get an exclusive quote through your RACP Member Advantage website or call 1300 853 352 for more information.

*Terms and conditions apply.

Apply for the 2020 Master of Applied Epidemiology program

No, it's not a cricket match. Do you want to be on the frontline addressing public health threats? Do you want sound skills in epidemiology and to be able to use these to make a difference? Do you want to add experience to your CV while you’re getting a degree? If so, the Master of Applied Epidemiology (MAE) is for you.

The MAE program is Australia’s long standing and globally recognised Field Epidemiology Training Program. This is a two-year research degree that emphases learning at work, from work and for work. You will spend the majority of your time in a field placement (typically a government health department of other appropriate health organisations) conducting useful and important projects while supported via a tax-free scholarship of $50,000 per annum for your degree. The MAE provides excellent training in epidemiology for aspiring public health doctors and some public health registrars have been able to count the time taken completing this degree towards their Fellowship of Public Health Medicine.

The MAE has been run by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University since 1991. The scholars before you have investigated over 300 outbreaks, established or evaluated multiple surveillance systems, conducted important projects into communicable and non-communicable disease and then gone on to hold senior positions in health in Australia or work with international organisations including the World Health Organization. Seventeen per cent of graduates are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons. 

If you are interested in the MAE, please see the NCEPH website or contact

Applications are open from 1 July to 15 August 2019.

Benzathine penicillin approved for inclusion in doctors bag

In July 2018 the RACP sent a letter to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee’s (PBAC) review of the ‘Doctors Bag’ recommending the addition of syphilis treatment medication benzathine penicillin to enable general practitioners and other primary care services, including Aboriginal health services, to supply and stock benzathine for syphilis treatment.  

In February 2019 the PBAC Secretariat requested further information, to support the 2018 submission. A submission was developed by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the RACP’s Sexual Health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities Expert Reference Group (ERG) recommending including benzathine penicillin on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme prescriber bag list (‘Doctors bag’).
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee accepted the recommendation, and this is an important step in increasing syphilis treatment availability to address the syphilis epidemic in Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. 

Benzathine penicillin in the Doctors Bag will be specifically useful for:

  • non-remote Aboriginal medical service, high caseload urban general practitioners to stock benzathine
  • any general practitioners calling a sexual health clinic for advice can be advised that they can order the treatment in for free before the patient arrives to reduce delays to treatment initiation and loss to follow-up.

eLearning Module – Cultural Competence

The RACP has developed a module titled Australian Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori Cultural Competence which is available to all members (login required) via This is a useful module for those wanting a deeper understanding on traditional Australian and New Zealand cultural practices. The module can be completed in your own time and will enhance your clinical practice, particularly when working with Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori communities.

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.

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.

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

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:
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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